Mama Ngina Drive readies to host 40,000 Mashujaa guests

Thursday, September 26th, 2019 00:00 |
New look Mama Ngina Water Front where this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations will be held on October 20.Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

The Mombasa hospitality industry is gearing up for booming business ahead of this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations in the county next month. The county will host the national fete at Mama Ngina Drive Waterfront Park on October 20.

It is the first time the second largest city to host national celebrations since independence. The public park is currently under rehabilitation and is expected to host more than 40,000 people. 

Cultural events 

According to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho who is also chairman of the National Celebrations Committee, the park will be closed to the public from October 1 to pave way for military rehearsals and other activities related to the event. 

The national fete is expected to boost domestic arrivals and also increase business for small traders and transport sector during the October 19 to 21 holiday weekend.

All the six Coast counties will be involved in different cultural events and other entertainments during the fete.

Players in tourism sector say this will be a short lifeline for them to make money as many guests troop to the Coast for the annual event.

Several government delegations, staff from foreign missions based in Nairobi and international guests  will also be looking for accommodation.

“The hosting of Mashujaa Day at the new recreational facility will add flavour to this year’s celebrations at the Coast.

It will also create good business for hotels since many guests will be seeking accommodation,” said Wafula Waswa, Marketing Manager of Travellers Beach Hotel.

Waswa expects Kenyans from different counties to flock the coastal city, resulting into booming business for hotels and apartments. “The transport sector and other small traders will also benefit,” he said.

Seaside celebrations

The National Celebrations Committee led by chairman Dr Kibicho recently inspected work in progress at the venue.

“Construction of the Sh460 million recreational facility is almost complete,” said the PS, adding that  said since the celebrations were being held in Mombasa, it is important to involve other coastal counties so that area residents would feel part of the historical event.

 Deputy Head of Public Service Wanyama Musiambo, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata and Mombasa Deputy Governor, William Kingi accompanied him.

Others were Principal Secretaries Joe Ukudo (Tourism), Josephta Mukobe (Heritage) and Paul Maringa (Infrastructure). 

The committee had earlier made a similar inspection on the construction of the facility and expressed satisfaction on the work in progress.

“We are satisfied with the significant improvement and progress made since our last visit two weeks ago, particularly the pace of work on the Presidential Dias and the area for the military parade,” the PS said. 

Mombasa residents and others from the Coast region are excited about hosting the historic day where Kenyans celebrate their heroes and heroines. It will be the sixth county to host national fete after Meru, Nakuru, Machakos, Kakamega and Narok.

The park is expected to promote the city’s history, culture of the people and offer an ideal venue for festivals and other social events.

The seafront project adjacent to Likoni ferry entails a public square, two iconic gateways, a Swahili cultural centre, amphitheatre, modern kiosks, restaurants and parking areas.

The Chief Executive of the Kenya Association of Hotel Owners and Caterers (KAHC) ) Coast branch) Sam Ikwae says the new park will raise the profile of Mombasa and attract more international and local visitors. “It is a milestone for the industry,” he said. 

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