Monday, October 29, 2012

Blarb from Faraj Dumila

This is a verbatim report on this writer as profiled alongside Francis Thoya, Philip Mwakio and Patrick Kanga by prolific Coast culture enthusiast, veteran journalist and personal friend Faraj Dumila in his latest popular periodicals.Thank you so much Mzee Dumila, I highly recommend you for a Head of State Commendation in recognizing your effort to promote the Coastal culture, religion, the hijab women, the Kiswahili language, journalism as a profession and more so your inspiring writing maxim thus: "Charity to all, malice towards none".  

The Media Stars
......Eugene Omilo: It is fascinatingly inspiring meeting Eugene Omilo at his work place; committed to concentrating on assignments with a deep sense of devotion and dedication. He thoroughly knows his job and superbly enjoys to meticulously and immediately doing it to the best of his professional capacity. He is a thorough gentleman, decorous, calm, and diplomatic minded, easily approachable and ever ready to help one who requires PR information about his clients.His pieces of news items are usually concise, articulate, factual and written in commendable English.This writer has been finding him usefully helpful and thankful to him for getting me some active, illustrative photos that have marvelously adorned the feature  articles on Sheikh Suleiman Shahbal's political profile.Eugene congruently concurs with the axiom: 'As people become more literate and more civilized, the written word comes into play as increasingly important in spreading opinion and the creation of emotional attitude."....

The Blarb by Faraj Dumila

Dont forget pre school learners -Nassir reminds Gvt

October 28, 2012


The Ministry of Education has been challenged to come up with a common curriculum for pre - school learners to be instituted in all nursery schools countrywide.
Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir said it is a pity that pre school learning has been left almost entirely to the private sector as government has not invested in nursery schools.
Mr. Nassir spoke at Coast girls secondary school in Mombasa while presiding over a prize giving and graduation ceremony for An - Nujum nursery school pupils.
"In some places, nursery school children submit their homework through email, this is where we want all our children to be but our government must be on the forefront to provide direction, other stakeholders can take it from there," said Mr. Nassir.  
He called on the Teachers Service Commission to consider employing qualified nursery school teachers.
His sentiments were echoed by educationist Ms Hafswa Abubakar who said many nursery school teachers are well qualified but have been sidelined by TSC.
“We were told to enroll for diploma certificates before being considered, some of us went as far as getting degrees but we are yet to be considered,” complained Ms Abubakar who said many pre school teachers depended on the benevolence of their pupil’s parents to survive.
At the same time, Mr. Nassir encouraged teachers to guide their pupils to embrace unity at an early age as a way of deterring them from engaging in terrorist activities in future. 
"Teach our children to love one another and realize the importance of each one of their colleagues.This way, they will grow knowing it is bad to harm each other and they will shun terrorism and crime," said Mr. Nassir.
 He was reacting to the current wave of young people being arrested in Mombasa in connection with belonging to criminal and terrorism groups.

Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdulswamad Nassir presents a gift to Swalha Abdallah during a prize giving ceremony for An-Nujum nursery school pupils over the weekend.

Abdulswamad Nassir presents a gift to Mohamed Hussein

Abdulswamad Nassir presents a gift to Naima Hussein


Thursday, October 25, 2012

French duo lectures on sustainable energy practices

October 25, 2012
Two French technologists yesterday engaged students from local universities in a scientific discourse on sustainable energy practices throughout Africa.
The duo, Claire Guibert and Jeremy Debreu from Association Africa Express stopped in Mombasa as part of their 20, 000 kilometers journey in 10 months by train to observe 20 different projects on sustainable energy across Africa.
They plan to complete the journey which started six months ago in Morocco through the West Coast, down to South Africa then to Eastern Africa via the East Coast and finally to France.
During the lecture at the Alliance Francaise Mombasa on Wednesday evening, the two expounded on the energy situation in Africa and updated participants on the practices being promoted in various African countries to promote the use of sustainable energy.
They also shared their experience boarding various trains while traversing the cultural and biodiversity rich continent in their journey.
The participants were drawn mainly from Mombasa Polytechnic, Kenyatta University and Alliance Francaise students.
Ms. Guibert and Mr. Debreu are expected to board the ‘Lunatic Express’ to head to their next stop in Nairobi Thursday.
Their mission is to create awareness about sustainable energy options in Africa as well as compile a White Book on the best practices and a video documentary about their unique journey.

From Left: Claire Guibert, Ian Kafuna, a student, Mwakiwiwi Mwachia of AF and  Jeremy Debreu in a light discussion after the lecture at the Alliance Francaise yesterday.PHOTO/Eugene Omilo


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mombasa leaders expect sterling results

October 21, 2012, Mombasa


Leaders and education officials in Mombasa have expressed optimism that this year’s exam candidates in Mombasa County will post better results in the coming national exams than last year’s lot despite the teachers strike and threats to security in Mombasa.

Led by Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdulswamad Nassir and Municipal Education officer Mr. Bwanaheri Salim the leaders said stakeholders have doubled their efforts in a bid to reverse the poor performance registered last year.

The two leaders urged the candidates to face the coming exams with confidence and shun any compulsion to engage in exam malpractices.

Mr. Nassir reiterated his Foundation’s commitment towards education saying he plans to work towards improving the educational infrastructure and systems in Mombasa so as to improve performance in national examinations.
Mr. Nassir said his Foundation will provide free lunch to all pupils within Mombasa County during the three days they will be sitting for their exams.

Mr. Nassir also encouraged the pupils to work hard and beat the belief that Mombasa is alays behind when it comes to performance in national examinations.

“There is no reason why all of our pupils should not do well in exams because the question is why don’t we emulate the best practices from the best that we have in our midst?” he posed.

On his part, Mr. Salim cautioned the candidates against engaging in exam practices saying tough action will be taken against those caught in accordance with the newly instituted law on exam fraud.

The leaders were speaking during an interdenominational prayer rally for all candidates within Mombasa Island held at the Aga Khan sports centre.

The prayers were led by religious leaders from the Christian, Muslim and Hindu faiths.

Education officials at the event including Kepsha chairman Mr. Fuad Ali, KNUT officials Dan Oloo and David Mulei congratulated the Shariff Nassir Foundation for its efforts in supporting education in Mombasa.

Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir

The crowd

Sheikh Musa prays for the candidates as leaders join in.



Probe disabled fund scam, government told

July 31, 2012, Mombasa.


Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Mr. Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir has called for the prosecution of government and NGO officials alleged to have been implicated in the swirling of funds meant for the disabled population.
Mr. Abdulswamad who was reacting to recent press reports indicating how crooked officials have been stashing away government funds meant for people with disabilities said those whose organizations and parastatals have been mentioned in the scandal should step aside to allow for investigations into their conduct.
“We do not want to be seen to be judging anyone but it is procedural that officials mentioned in bad light by legitimate accusers should step aside to pave way for investigation,” he said.
“Those who are found to be clean can resume their duties and those who aren’t must face prosecution,” he added saying that is the only way to fight corruption and impunity.
 He spoke at Ziwani school for the deaf in Spaki, Mombasa where his foundation donated food stuff for 14 different groups of people with disabilities.
Each of the groups received several bales of maize and wheat flour, beans, rice, cooking oil and dates.
While speaking at the same function, leaders of the physically challenged in Mombasa called on the government to move fast and take stern action against those who will be implicated in the scandal failure to which they will take to the streets to demand for justice.
Ms. Rahma Said Omar of Mombasa County Disabled Network and Mr. Paul Ochieng who is the spokesperson for the disabled in Mombasa said programmes meant for social protection of the marginalized have been misused to benefit a few individuals, a matter they said was unacceptable.
“Some people are using either us or orphaned children as a stepping stone to earn easy money. This is not right and we pray that the law catches up with their misdeeds,” said Mr. Ochieng’.
On her part, Ms. Omar said the revelations might discourage genuine sympathizers and well wishers from helping out the needy thinking their money will be misused by corrupt individuals to the detriment of those in need.
Mr. Abdulswamad called on the strict enforcement of laws meant to protect the vulnerable in the society.
He also appealed to the Muslim community to remember the needs of the disabled and the less fortunate population  during the holy month of  Ramandhan.

With Ziwani School for the deaf pupils

Assisting the disabled.

Addressing the Press. PHOTOS/Eugene OMILO


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Education official warns KCPE candidates on cheating


A senior educational official in Mombasa has cautioned KCPE candidates against engaging in exam malpractices warning them of dire consequences if caught.
Municipal Education Officer Mr. Bwanaheri  Salim said many candidates fail to prepare enough for their exams after being  duped by conmen of exam leakages when the examination time draws near.
“We even have cases where candidates are coached to cram a composition or insha article then rewrite it during their exams, this too will be treated as a malpractice and the results will be cancelled,” he  warned.
The officer spoke on October 19,2012 at the Aga Khan sports centre while presiding over a prize giving ceremony for the Mombasa Island 2012 mock exams for class seven and eight pupils sponsored by the Shariff Nassir Foundation. 
The foundation’s chairman Mr. Abdulswamad Nassir reiterated his commitment to education saying he plans to work towards improving the educational infrastructure and systems in Mombasa so as to improve performance in national examinations.
Mr. Nassir also encouraged the pupils to work hard and beat the belief that Mombasa is always behind when it comes to performance in national examinations.
“There is no reason why all of our pupils should not do well in exams because the question is why don’t we emulate the best practices from the best that we have in our midst?” he posed.
Mr. Nassir spoke in a speech delivered on his behalf by his younger brother  Mr. Abdulwahab Nassir.
During the ceremony, St Kevin Hill academy and Tudor Hill academy emerged the best overall schools for the standard eight and seven categories respectively.
St. Kevin posted an impressive mean score of 427 while Tudor Hill posted a mean score of 371 out of a possible 500 marks.
Kasiangani Esther Nasike of Amani primary school was the best overall girl for the standard eight category after scoring 454 marks while Muli Jacob Midimo of Ganjoni primary school emerged the best overall boy in class eight with 455 marks.
In the standard seven category, Ganjoni primary’s  Joy Wahome was named the best overall girl with 418 marks while Mudathir Timami of Loreto primary school with 454 marks.
All private and public schools within the Mombasa Island sat for the mock exams with the standard seven mock exams being administered for the first time.
The event was graced by among others the local Knut branch officials led by their chairman Mr. Johnson Kivutha, local Kepsha chairman Mr. Fuad Ali, teachers, parents and pupils from various schools within Mombasa Island.

Bruno Sorre of  Loreto primary school receives an award from Mombasa MEO Mr. Bwanaheri Salim during teh Mombasa Island Mock Awards 2012 sponsored by the Shariff Nassir Foundation..PHOTO/Ali KUBO

Monday, October 15, 2012

Leaders reaffirm commitment to improve education


Leaders in Mombasa have called on the Ministry of Education to increase the number of  girls only public schools in the county to match the rising demand of placements.

Transport Assistant Minister Hassan Ali Joho and Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir said many pupils aspiring to study in girls only schools missed out on the opportunity due to lack of adequate schools.
Speaking during a ceremony to celebrate the elevation of Mama Ngina Girls High School from a provincial to a national school, Joho reaffirmed his commitment towards improving on educational infrastructure in the county.

He said a new girls only school built using CDF funds will be opened later this month in Utange, a remote village within Kisauni constituency to help fill the gap.

“We are ready to support education because we know it is the only undiminishing inheritance that we can pass on to our children,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Mr. Nassir who also called on the mobilization of necessary resources to Mama Ngina high school to help the school compete fairly with other national schools in the country.

“Getting a prestigious status alone is not enough, we need to marshal resources to equip our schools with the necessary facilities that characterize national schools,” he said.

At the same time, the leaders also called on the government to investigate claims about groups planning to disrupt the coming national examinations.

“Let our children use this opportunity to define their future, we need to support them and not to frustrate them during this time,” said Joho.

 The school’s principal Mrs. Rassul Samba said she is grateful of the insurmountable support that the school has received from various quarters but called for more financial assistance saying being the only public girls boarding school in the county, the school faced more infrastructural challenges including land for expansion.


Sheikh Abdala Farsy students to resume classes


The Shariff Nassir Foundation has come to the rescue of more than 100 Form 4 students of Al Farsy secondary school in Mvita who were sent home early last week owing to religious differences in the school amongst the teaching staff.

The students were sent home after a scuffle in the school which saw enraged students attack a teacher who allegedly abused Prophet Mohammed during a lesson.

The Foundation has partnered with Istiqama Tuition centre to offer coaching to form four students who are expected to start their national exams in one week's time.

 “We want to stay clear of the stand off but our concern is to the exam candidates whom we feel will be affected if the school remains closed for longer,” said the foundation’s chairman Mr. Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir after paying a courtesy call to the institution.

He said the partnership will see the tuition centre post private teachers in all subjects to teach the students until the situation is resolved.
The teachers will be paid by the Foundation.

Istiqama director Mwenye Omar said his institution has qualified teachers who will be of great benefit to the students.He said many learners have great trust in the institution's capacity having successfully conducted a free tuition centre for a large number of students during the recent teachers' strike.

"We thank the Shariff Nassir Foundation for their support, we will play our part to uplift better performance in national exams for our candidates," he said.  

At the same time, Mr. Nassir called on the police to get to the bottom of the claims that members of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) are planning to disrupt national examinations.

"We understand MRC has distanced itself from these allegations but what we are saying is that the source of this information is the police and if there is any iota of truth in it then we want to see those behind the plans arrested so that our candidates are assured of their security while writing their examinations.

Mr. Nassir also brushed off remarks by nominated MP Sheikh Mohamed Dor who said yesterday that there is no problem for wealthy businessmen and politicians to fund MRC activities terming the remarks as populist.

He said anyone resident at the Coast identifies with the core issues affecting the Coastal populace including landlessness and marginalization but all remain opposed to criminal activities being used to propel the secessionist ideals.


Teachers, Gvt told to dialogue over strike

By Eugene Omilo
A charity organization in Mombasa has called on the government to initiate and fast track dialogue with the teachers’ unions to stop the ongoing strike that has nearly paralyzed learning in public schools countrywide.

Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Mr. Abdullswamad Nassir said if not addressed in time, the stalemate might lead to a generational catastrophe as many able students stand to miss out on university admissions next year because of poor preparations.

“We are particularly concerned by candidates in Mombasa county. Their performance over the years has not been impressive and this strike might disadvantage them further considering most of them attend public schools,” said Mr. Nassir.

Mr. Nassir was speaking in Mombasa yesterday after visiting students attending free tuition classes offered by the foundation in collaboration with Istiqama Tuition centre.

He said the foundation is in talks with more well wishers to expand the programme so that more candidates can be accommodated.
More than 2000 students from mostly Mombasa Island and a few from Kilifi and Kaloleni have enrolled for the coaching sessions which began on Tuesday.

Istiqama director Mwenye Omar said there is need for communities to improvise alternative teaching mediums to help candidates in public schools remain at par with their counterparts in private schools during the strike period.

He said the institution’s two centres in Shika Adabu in Likoni and the other one within the Island are overwhelmed as more students turn up for the programme.

Mr. Nassir said his organization has prepared enough revision materials for the students should the strike persist.

“We have contracted qualified teachers from private schools within Mombasa who come to teach in turns,” he said adding that all subjects are taught to the students.

He said the available places have been reserved for exam sitting classes only.


Late cabinet minister Shariff Nassir honoured posthumously


The Mombasa Municipal council has honoured late powerful cabinet minister Shariff Nassir by renaming a road in Mombasa’s King’orani area after him.

Shariff Nassir was a long serving MP for Mvita constituency and held various cabinet portfolios in the government of former president Daniel arap Moi in the 1990s. 

Speaking during a brief ceremony to erect road signs on the road bearing the late Nassir’s name yesterday, Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir thanked the Mombasa Municipal council for seeing it fit to name the busy road after his father.  

Mr. Abdulswamad who later on hosted an iftar (breaking of the fast) ceremony after the launch took the opportunity to wish Muslims a happy Idd ul Fitr as the holy month of Ramadhan comes to a close.

He also urged the Muslim community to embarace the religion’s teaching even after the Ramadhan period.
“Muslims should uphold the good deeds that they have been practicing during the holy month. 

Let us carry on with the spirit of compassion towards the less fortunate in our midst even after Ramadhan,” he advised. 

The occasion attracted close friends and political allies of the former minister who extolled on  the virtues of the veteran Coast politician and urged the younger Nassir who is in the race for the Mvita parliamentary seat in the coming general elections  to follow in his father’s  footsteps.

Athman Ali Kubo and Mjomba Ashur praised the good deeds of the late minister saying he touched the hearts of many residents in the constituency during his long reign as MP and that the development initiatives he started are still benefiting constituents.

Mr. Abdulswamad also added his voice to the ongoing debate on whether aspirants for various seats should be vetted saying the process is necessary if questionable individuals are to be prevented from seeking public office.

“If we are serious about the integrity of our leaders, then there is no point opposing the vetting process , if we believe we are clean then there should not be fear in allowing our deeds and our past to be scrutinized,” he said.

He called on the government to uphold the Integrity Bill as a way of setting precedence for a graft free leadership era  in Kenya.

Friends of the late Shariff Nassir join his son Abddulswamad to erect one of the signages.

Posing for a  memorable photo...PHOTOS by E. Omilo.

Exam candidates to benefit from free tuition


A charity organization in Mombasa has partnered with a private tuition centre to assist national exam candidates in revision should teachers make good their threat to go on strike next week.

The Shariff Nassir Foundation has announced its is plans to launch free tuition classes at Istiqama tuition centres for form four and standard eight pupils who are set to sit for their exams in October and November respectively.
While speaking from Dubai, Sharif Nassir Foundation chairman  Abdullswamad Nassir said the programme is targeting more than 3000 pupils from within Mombasa county.

During a previous teachers strike last year, more than close to 100 pupils benefited from a similar programme in its centers in Majengo and Mwembe Kuku areas.

At the same time, Mr. Nassir called on the government to give an ear to the teachers’ unions to  solve the impasse in time so as to avoid inconveniencing exam candidates countrywide.

“As much as we empathize with our teachers, we also fear for our students’ performance in the coming exams and we have decided to come up with alternative remedial classes for them just in case the strike persists,” he said.

Istiqama tuition centre director Mr. Mwenye Omar confirmed the plans saying his institution has put in place adequate measures to serve the pupils.

He said three centres in Likoni’s Shika Adabu area and two others within Mombasa Island have been expanded and fully furnished for the anticipated increased number of learners to expect to turn out for the programme since it is free of charge.

"The Foundation has agreed to provide revision materials and offset other operating costs during the whole exercise.This will go along way to helping  a majority of candidates most of whom cannot private coaching," he said.

Mr. Omar said the centres have qualified teachers for all subjects in both classes and that the tuition classes will be carried out during weekdays from 2 pm to  pm. 

“We believe this initiative will help our candidates to cope up emotionally with the situation as well as keep them away from induliging in unbecoming conduct since they will have a lot of free time in their hands,” said Mr. Nassir. 

He also called on the teachers to be able to cede some ground in their demands if that is what it will take to end the impending strike for the sake of restoring learning in the public schools.


Choose development oriented leaders, residents told


Leaders in Mombasa have urged voters in the county to be watchful of the various promises being dangled to them by aspirants seeking elective posts, lest they be duped into electing wrong leaders.

Transport Assistant minister Hassan Joho and Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir instead told Mombasa residents to vote for individuals with known development records.

The two who were hosted by Makande Chief Mr. Felix Wesonga were speaking in Shimanzi, Mombasa October 8, 2012 where they opened new offices for community health workers and  boda boda operators in the area.
Joho who has declared his intention to vie for Mombasa governor said his ability for the post should be benchmarked with his development initiatives as MP for Kisauni.

“Let us not invoke the clarion call for change every time we have an election. The call for change should have a substantive basis,” said Joho adding that Kenya’s moment of change came with the gaining of independence and the writing of the new constitution.

“What we are looking for now is development conscious leaders because Kenyans already have the change they yearned for,” he said.

Mr. Nassir commended the community workers for their effort in cultivating a healthy and drug free society saying there is need for the private sector to compliment government efforts in providing social and health requirements for the citizenry.

Ms. Naima Omar of the Shimanzi Health Unit said the new offices which will serve community health  workers from different CBOs will go a long way in helping the community in the rehabilitation of drug addicts in the mostly industrial Shimanzi area as well as in dispensing ARVs drugs to AIDs patients.

She said the offices will also be a counseling centre.

On his part, Island Boda Boda operators chairman Mr. Geofrey Waira thanked the Sharrif Nassir Foundation for the help saying the office will be instrumental in coordinating boda boda operators  in the area as a way of addressing insecurity concerns and the welfare of youths in the boda boda business.