19-04-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
It's not just the fact that she has taken her appointment as Kenya's tourism ambassador, that of Naomi Campbell, the world's most celebrated iconic supermodel is genuine love for the African country and not just for Malindi, which she has in any case elected as her "third home", after London and New York.
The fact is that after the criticism levelled by Kenyans who expected a Kenyan testimonial, such as Hollywood actress Lupita Nyongo or world champion marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, it became clear why the Nairobi government is so interested in the British model: every time she speaks, publishes a video or photos of Kenya, they go around the world.
And not only with glamour or gossip magazines, it happened for example last week with the most prestigious design and furnishing magazine, AD, which published a long photo report, accompanied by a video interview filmed by the BBC, on her villa in Malindi and her passion for this corner of Africa.
Not only what she calls "the relaxing Little Italy in the middle of Africa", but also hints at the Great Migration ("I can't wait for June to go there"), the Samburu and local crafts.
In the Architectural Digest feature, he explained why the Malindsian residence has been his buen retiro for over 20 years and the perfect escape from the hectic life of London and New York.
"'It's a very relaxing place,' Campbell reiterated, 'You don't need to be on the phone. You're not necessarily looking for a television. You just want to read and be with yourself. It's nice to be surrounded by silence and crickets singing.
It's even nicer to do this in a sumptuous villa just a stone's throw from the Indian Ocean, with a swimming pool that fits inside the house, an immense tropical garden and the comfort of fine furnishings.
Naomi is particularly fond of makuti roofs, which have recently become the focus of controversy over their danger in the event of fire.
"The makuti is just like a work of art in itself and has held up very well, although because of the wind and sea salt everything here can deteriorate quickly," she said. She said.
The Top Model who publicises Kenya also spoke about the beauty of the local handicrafts and the skill of Kenyans to produce fine items.
"A lot of the wooden furniture we have in the house is made in Malindi," she explained to AD, "In fact, we even had a workshop in the back of the house to make a lot of it.
He also recalled that some of the most valuable and well-made pieces come from the forge of Italian artist Armando Tanzini, cited as one of Kenya's best designers and now a naturalised Kenyan living there for over 50 years.
While reminding the magazine that she loves not only Kenya but all the countries on the continent (heaven forbid they should take away her greetings to Dakar or Luanda...), Naomi's latest issues have already triggered a surge in requests for information on the Kenyan coast, Malindi and safaris.
These are opportunities to be seized by a type of clientele that has been missing for too long, especially in the town where Vasco Da Gama landed: lovers of beauty, culture and unobtrusive relaxation.
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