It is like running in the Olympic Games with a limping leg, no matter the obstacles; you need to reach the finish line. This is an attitude portrayed by Kenya in the aftermath of the Westgate terror attack. An attack that got many wondering if Nairobi will stand tall to face this evil and, more importantly, resolutely look forward and never turn back, as echoed by the number one citizen, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kenya is still licking its wounds after one of the deadliest terror attacks the world has ever witnessed in September, 2013. Just a few days before that, the country’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport became an inferno. It was not clear if this was an act of terror or arson until a month later when the investigation revealed an electrical fault started the fire.
That is when the Hakuna Matata aura kicked in; all that happened is history and life moves on. Millions of foreign visitors, on leisure and business trips, are landing at that very same airport and more shopping malls are springing up. The Kenyan government even promised to lend a hand in revamping the Westgate Mall.
Focus quickly shifted to mark Kenya’s 50th anniversary as an independent state. The year was coming to an end and there was a rush to wrap it up with a lot of festivities. On the night of December 2, FORBES AFRICA chose the country’s capital to celebrate its third Person of the Year, less than three kilometers away from the scene of terror that occurred at the mall. The recipient of the award, Nigeria’s minister of agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, reminded all that East Africa, and Kenya in particular, is at the forefront of the continent’s ICT revolution.
During his acceptance speech, Adesina reiterated his mission to make millionaires from agriculture. He is using electronic wallets to enable farmers to receive vouchers for subsidized seeds and fertilizers. It is a system that traces its origin from Kenya, a land with no worries.
Exclusive resorts and the world’s top luxury hotels are setting up shop in Kenya. Africa’s first Billionaires Resort was opened in the tiny coastal town of Malindi, a three-hour drive north of Mombasa. Some of the resort’s investors cannot even point out the location on a map. All their trust is bestowed on their beloved friend and Italian businessman, Flavio Briatore, who operates the resort, bringing glamour, quality and uniqueness to the coast of Kenya. Some of the high-profile owners of apartments at the resort include Ferrari’s Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
It is once again time for the Hakuna Matata mojo.