KCB announced a Kshs. 1 Million sponsorship, towards the final leg of the 2022/23 Safari Tour, to be held at the Muthaiga Golf Club, from February 11th to February 15th 2023.
Speaking during the ceremonial cheque handover ceremony, KCB Group Director Marketing and Communications, Rosalind Gichuru said;
“Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to supporting the development of sports in this country. As you may all be aware, KCB Bank is not a stranger to supporting Kenyan sports. Our footprint in supporting different sport disciplines from athletics, football to golf and rugby dates many years back.”
“This final leg of the 2022/23 Safari Tour Golf series provides us with a great opportunity to support our local and regional professionals as they prepare to take on the 2023 Magical Kenya Open, later in March. To this end, we are announcing a sponsorship of KES.1 million towards the prize money of this last leg of the series.”
The Muthaiga leg will culminate with the naming of the professionals who have qualified to play at the 2023 Magical Kenya Open, slated for March 9th – 12th, at the Muthaiga Golf Club.
This marks the second year that the brand will be supporting the region’s professional golfers through the Safari Tour, and comes right after the bank’s sponsorship of the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open, which was held at Vipingo this past weekend.
On his part, Kenya Open Golf Limited’s director and Kenya Golf Union Chairman Njani Ndiritu said;
“On behalf of the Kenya Open Golf Limited, we are grateful to KCB for supporting this last leg of the Safari Tour. This is a welcome boost to the series, especially going into the Kenya Open.”
The final leg will be preceded by a ProAm event, where amateurs will play alongside local and regional pros, before the professionals take center stage between Sunday, March 12th, and Wednesday, March 15th for valuable Road to Kenya open points.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to India Ambassador Willy Bett has termed the win of India’s professional golf player Ashok Aditi in the just concluded Magical Kenya Ladies Open a major boost in the drive to woo Indian golfers to visit Kenya.
While congratulating Aditi for the win, Bett said the ground to popularize and market Kenya as a golfing destination has now been laid and made easier.
“This is a huge endorsement of our campaigns to interest Indian golfers to visit Kenya for sports and leisure, and we are optimistic that Kenya will be the next golfing destination for Indian golfers “. Says the ambassador.
He pointed out that the upcoming Magical Kenya Open tournament set for March this year in Nairobi would further amplify Kenya’s position in the golfing sport. The tournament, which is part of the elite European tour, has attracted professional players from the US, Europe, and other parts of the world.
The 24-year-old Ashok Aditi scooped the first prize in this year’s Ladies European golf tour tournament held at Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi, Malindi to win the 2023 Ladies’ title.
The 3-day tournament attracted professional golf players from across the globe. Kenya is home to the only PGA course in the region, Vipingo Ridge that has been the host of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open for the last three years.
In an apparent endorsement of Kenya’s magical experiences during the tournament, Aditi was quoted in a release by LET and thus: “It was cool to have the giraffes. This is definitely different and part of the experience of playing in Kenya. It was cool to see giraffes – I don’t think I’ve ever seen them that close before.”
Yesterday, Bett disclosed that a big number of professional golfers in India was a segment that Kenya would reap from and challenged the travel agents, promoting travels to Kenya to develop relevant packages for them.
According to the ambassador, improved golf facilities in the country were key ingredients to pulling golfers into Kenya.
Kenya has now cemented its position as a top golfing destination in Africa, boasting over 40 courses across the destination and a growing local and international fan base. In 2020, the Annual World Golf awards voted Kenya as Africa’s leading golf destination.
The Kenya National Civil Society Centre (KNCSC) calls on the Kenya Kwanza administration to remain focused and address the pressing needs of the poor and vulnerable segments of the population that have been most affected by the increasingly unbearable economic situation obtaining in the country. Contrary to its often repeated statements and bravado that it wouldn’t be distracted by the opposition, there are tell-tale signs all over the place that the government is already derailed and resorting to underhand tactics for its political survival.
While inflation rate eased marginally from 9.10 per cent in December 2022 to 9.0 per cent in January 2023, and food inflation also reduced from 13.80 per cent in December 2022 to 12.80 per cent in January 2023, the fact that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased from 128.99 points in December 2022 to 129.29 points in January 2023 means that effects of price variations on the purchase cost of products consumed by most households went up, eroding any gains that may have been made on the reduced inflation.
It is instructive that these gains were made at a period when the political environment had thawed a little, with the opposition giving the newly formed government the traditional 100 days grace period to constitute itself and demonstrate that it can deliver on its immediate priorities. The first 100 days is significant for a new leadership, giving an indication of a president’s management style, priorities and speed in implementing campaign promises.
KNCSC wishes to remind H.E. President William Ruto that he rode to power on the crest of unrelenting food prices that had been on an upward trend from April 2022 (12.15 per cent) before jumping up to 15.5 per cent in September 2022 and peaking at th15.8 per cent, in October 2022, the highest recorded in the year.
In the foreword to the Kenya Kwanza Bottom up Economic Transformation Agenda 2022 – 2027, President William Ruto explained why he was seeking to be President of the Republic of Kenya, pointing out that “the number of struggling Kenyans now exceed 10 million, more than half the country’s workforce. If half of them are not productive, then it stands to reason that the economy will be like an engine firing only half the cylinders”.
While the President pledged, if elected, “to increase the average daily income of the 10 million struggling Kenyans by Sh200 per day, translating to Sh2 billion a day, and Sh730 billion a year”, what the KNCSC continues to hear with increasing decibels is the call to pay taxes before Kenyans recover from the economic meltdown and put money in their pockets.
The President also pledged to defend the Constitution, pointing out in the foreword to the Kenya Kwanza Manifesto that “it is my firm conviction that our 2010 Constitution is serving us well, and the challenges that remain are largely where we have resisted implementation”.
While the 2023/24 budget proposals state that “public spending will be directed to the most critical needs to achieve economic recovery and inclusive growth” the proposal to double State House’s allocation from Sh4.3 billion to Sh8.8 billion, and raise Deputy President’s Rigathi Gachagua’s office budget from Sh1.7 billion to Sh2.6 billion in the Supplementary Budget for the 2022/23 financial year, is the clearest indication that the funds being allocated to State House and the DP’s office will be deployed to luring members of the National Assembly and the Senate elected on opposition political parties rather than on the “most critical and pressing needs of citizens”.
The KNCSC is concerned that while the President has accused those in the opposition of attempting to undermine the free will of the people during the tallying of the presidential vote, President William Ruto’s continued luring of members of Parliament elected on opposition party tickets for which budgetary allocations to the Office of the President and his Deputy seem to have been increased, equally undermines the free will of the people that elected them on opposition party tickets. Article 4(1) is clear that “the Republic of Kenya shall be a multi-party democratic State founded on the National Values and Principles of Governance”, including the rule of law, accountability, participation of the people, human rights and good governance.
Equally significant to note is that allocations for development projects that would have created the employment opportunities that the President promised in his coalition’s manifesto have been drastically reduced in the Supplementary Budget for the 2022/23 financial year by about 15 per cent from Sh715 billion to Sh609 billion, while raising spending on recurrent activities by 6.6 per cent, from Sh1.4 to Sh1.49 trillion.
Freedoms of association, assembly and expression of Kenyans are also being compromised as the government responds to intensifying criticism by the opposition. KNCSC has noted with concern that gatherings by Bunge la Mwananchi at the Jevanjee Gardens have been ruthlessly dispersed in the past by the police for reasons that have not been explained.
Call to Action
In view of the foretasted, the Kenya National Civil Society Centre calls on President William Ruto and his government to focus on and allocate all available financial and human resources towards addressing the most critical and pressing needs of the people as pledged in the manifesto. Diverting resources to lure opposition MPs as seem to be the emerging trend only serves to undermine the Constitution.
KNCSC also calls on the Inspector General of the Kenya National Police Service to stop harassing ordinary Kenyans who gather at the Jevanjee Gardens to catch up on current affairs as Bunge la Mwananchi. With Uhuru Park and the Central Park closed for renovations, Jevanjee Gardens remains the only place where ordinary citizens can gather free of any charges to exchange pleasantries and catch on current affairs.
The dominant color is a refreshing shade of azure blue with the bottom-half imprinted with tropical scene patterns, bearing shades of the club’s distinguished green, Gor Mahia today unveiled its official Umbro alternate kit for the 2022/23 KPL season.
Coming two months since the launch of its home and away kits, the new look strays from the club’s prominent green and white colors, giving the record league winners a touch of blue. The dominant color is a refreshing shade of azure blue with the bottom-half imprinted with tropical scene patterns, with shades of the club’s distinguished green.
Like the previous home and away shirts, this jersey was specifically made and designed particularly for the club, bearing an amazing 3D club badge imprinted on the top left corner of the shirt. The kit comes with a matching pair of shorts and socks to complete the new look. The goalkeeper’s jersey is a shade of salmon pink with a yellow pattern spread across the upper torso. Just like their home and away kits, this one is also branded with the sponsor trademark, SportPesa, across the chest area.
The visiting World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) Africa Director Rodney Swigelaar accompanied by CEO Anti-doping Agency of Kenya Sarah Shibutse have this afternoon paid a courtesy call to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) .
Various matters concerning preparations towards Paris 2024, keeping athletes safe, trusting in the system, innovation to curb the doping menace as we head towards Paris 2024 other matters of common interests featured during the call on. The conversation also covered various areas of NOC-K’S development priorities as well as ADAK’S challenges. Both sides expressed interest in holding hands to see that Kenya as a Sports powerhouse performed to its best.
The 1st Deputy President and the Chef de Mission Paris 2024, Shadrack Maluki, 2nd Deputy President Waithaka Kioni and Athlete Representative Humphrey Kayange welcomed the delegation which is in the country on official duties to Athletics Kenya and Anti-doping Agency of Kenya.
The CDM thanked the Director for continued cooperation in the drive for clean sports, strategic partnerships and finding regional solutions to Africa’s response to the doping menace
Discussions were also held about the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games and the huge role Kenya plays in representing Africa. As the top country, in the Olympics, all eyes will be on Kenya apropos to Tokyo 2020 performance.
“I’m glad and proud to see Kenya signed an MOU with the city of Miramas this past weekend to kickstart early preparations towards the Games. I am also pleased to see that the lead team towards the Games has been appointed and has hosted us at the NOC-K office and assured us of Team Kenya exemplary performance.
He also noted NOC-K’s cooperation and collaboration with the government and various bodies such as our medical practitioner’s fraternity by entering into a working agreement towards combating the doping menace.
Humphrey Kayange also thanked the Director for visiting the country and representing the World body at such a crucial time.
“As athletes, most times we lack education or the people surrounding us don’t guide us enough. We’re glad to have the Africa director here to hear from the government, the regulators but also from the athletes.”
Rodney will pay a courtesy call to the Cabinet Secretary Sports, later this afternoon and proceed to Athletics Kenya on 7th February 2023.
The Magical Kenya Ladies Open has been hailed as a blessing for small businesses, providing them with the opportunity to enjoy good business during tournament time.
Salim Swaleh, the owner of the Kbees Food Joint restaurant, located in Mombasa, is a prime example. This year marks his second time vending at the event, which he says has had a significant impact on his business.
Swaleh was able to showcase his specialty, authentic Swahili food, to tournament fans, providing them with a unique and delicious dining experience. He also took advantage of the opportunity to network and interact with many people, which he says is of utmost importance to him and his business.
“The Magical Kenya Ladies Open is not just a sporting event, it’s a blessing for businesses. I am thrilled to be a part of it for the second time and I am grateful for the positive impact it has had on my business. Being able to serve my authentic Swahili foods to fans and connect with other individuals has been a truly rewarding experience,” he said.
“This year is much better in terms of business as we have many more fans attending the tournament and they get a chance to sample our diverse food offerings. We are therefore really grateful to the tournament organisers for offering us this opportunity and look forward to 2024,” he added.
Plans for next year’s tournament are already underway as 2023’s Magical Kenya Ladies Open draws to a close today.
India’s Aditi Ashok sustained supreme form in the final round of the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open on the PGA Baobab Course at Vipingo Ridge to win the third edition of the tournament.
She played a solid round of 74, taking her total for the tournament to 12-under par 280, a phenomenal nine shots ahead of her nearest challenger. She was out in 37 on the front nine courtesy of a birdie at the par-4 1st and having dropped a shot at the par-3 8th where she found the water off the tee.
She was steady in the back nine, closing with a 37 courtesy of a birdie at the par-5 11th and having dropped shots at the par-5 15th and the short par-3 17th.
Aditi made her intentions clear early in the tournament when she opened her challenge with an emphatic score of 67 – four clear of the next golfer. And if her opening round was emphatic, her second, where she carded 70, was solid. Her third round, where she ended the day with a round of 69, was steady and the final round completed her 4-day streak of stellar performance.
The 24-year-old came into the tournament with the disappointment of 2019 still fresh in her mind where she came agonizingly close to winning the inaugural Magical Kenya Ladies Open, only to finish second behind Esther Henseleit by one shot.
Speaking after clinching the win, Aditi said:
“It has been a great week and I think it has proven that my off-season and hard work has paid off this week. I just kept hitting fairways and greens. I think the last few holes I didn’t make very many good swings but it’s all good, I guess. I have worked a lot with my coach and my fitness team back home together with whom we have put in a lot of work over two months, just to get back to my original strength level and I think this week I feel I have gotten back to where I was maybe a couple of years ago, and I think it is pretty good.
“It was cool and different, all part of the experience of playing in Kenya to see giraffes (on the course). I don’t think I have ever seen giraffes that close before.”
Today’s win takes her win tally in the Ladies European Tour to four, with her first and second wins in November 2016 at the Hero Women’s Indian Open and at Qatar Ladies Open. She won her third at the FBM Ladies Open in November 2017.
Finishing tied in second place was eighteen-year-old April Angurasaranee from Thailand who ended her campaign with a total score of 3-under par, 289, to mark her best finish at a Ladies European Tour tournament. She shared runner-up honours with Englishwoman Alice Hewson who carded 70 on the final day to match the overall 3-under-par score.
April carded 36 on the front nine courtesy of birdies at the par-5 2nd and the par-5 6th and having dropped a shot at the par-4 5th. She had a less-than-ideal back nine where she opened with a double-bogey at the 10th and holed a series of bogeys at the par-4 13th, the par-4 16th and the par-3 17th for a back nine total of 41.
On her part, Alice carded 36 on the front nine with birdies at the 2nd, 7th and 9th holes and having dropped shots at the 4th and 6th holes. On the back nine, she was out with 36 courtesy of birdies at the 11th, 17th and 18th holes and back-to-back bogeys at the 14th, 15th and 16th.
Tournament favourite coming into the week, Esther Henseleit from Germany, saw her hopes of grabbing a three-peat shattered after ending her campaign with a score of 78 to take her total for the event to four-over par, 296, leaving her tied in 17th place.
Kenya’s Naomi Wafula – who made history by being the only Kenyan player to make the Cut at the tournament since its debut in 2019 – finished in 56th. Only six players posted par and better scores at the end of the tournament, underlining its toughness as players battled strong winds amidst the hot and humid weather of the coast.
The final round was graced by Her Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Rachel Ruto, who was accompanied by the Cabinet Secretary of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts , Hon. Ababu Namwamba, and the Cabinet Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Penina Malonza.
Speaking at the same occasion, Hon. Namwamba said:
“The Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts is delighted to support this tournament, we are convinced that such events demonstrate to our young people the opportunities that sport offers. I am sure over the past week, the international and five Kenyan players have inspired future golfers.”
CS Ababu Namwaba went on to applaud Vipingo Ridge for introducing the sport of golf to children from underprivileged backgrounds in the area, through their grassroots program.
Commenting on the tournament’s tourism value to the country, CS Penina said:
“The Magical Kenya Ladies Open is a significant event in Kenya’s tourism calendar, this year’s event is significant as it has helped built on the successes we’ve had in the 2019 and 2021 editions.”
“This year’s tournament is the first in the 2023 Ladies European Tour calendar, underlining the event’s significance to the L.E.T. Kenya is growing as a golf destination and the government will keep supporting the growth of the sport.”
The CS also announced the government’s intent to tap into the $21.7 Billion global golf tourism market, to grow the country’s tourist arrivals.
U.COM Event Managing Director Dirk Glittenberg announced that after making the CUT, Kenya’s Naomi Wafula has been invited to play at the 2023 Amundi German Masters in June.
Sixteen junior golfers from Vipingo were yesterday treated to a golf clinic on the sidelines of the on-going 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open at Vipingo Ridge’s PGA Academy in Kilifi County. The clinic was sponsored by Safaricom’s M-PESA GlobalPay, in partnership with the Junior Golf Foundation, as part of their commitment to growing the game in Kenya.
During the clinic, a team of Ladies European Tour professionals, Kenya’s star players and global influencers took the time to engage with the young aspiring golfers, training them on various aspects of the sport such as swing techniques. Among the professionals, Alexandra Swayne, Vani Kapoor, Laura Beveridge and Pasqualla Coffa took part alongside Kenya’s five entries to this year’s tournament – Vipingo Ridge’s PGA Academy star Naomi Wafula, Mercy Nyanchama, Chanelle Wangari, Jacqueline Walter and Nancy Wairimu. The influencers included Sophie Stone, Tobias Lehmann, Arnaund Serie, and Eleanor Skoog.
The young golfers from the Future Hope Montessori School in the local Vipingo area, under the auspices of the Vipingo Village Fund, were each taken through a one-on-one skills session, and enjoyed some entertainment as the Pros displayed their favourite trick shots.
The Vipingo Village Fund is a grassroots initiative supported by Vipingo Ridge as part of a CSR campaign to find and nurture the next generation of Kenyan golf talent through weekly lessons at the PGA Academy.
Vipingo Ridge’s Director of Golf Saleem Haji, who coordinated the clinic said: “The young golfers of today are the future of our sport. These clinics provide an invaluable opportunity for them to learn from the best and develop the skills they need to succeed in golf and in life. We are grateful to our partners for making this happen as it will go a long way in ensuring the juniors’ talents are nurtured.”
Junior Golf Foundation President Regina Gachora said; “These are juniors who have never had a chance to play golf and today have had the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the best female golfers in the world who taught them the basics about the game of golf. As JGF, we are delighted for this opportunity given to us by Vipingo Ridge and Safaricom.”
On his part, Safaricom’s Michael Mutiga, Chief Business Development & Strategy Officer said that the clinic was part of the company’s commitment to supporting the development of golf in Kenya.
“We at Safaricom believe in transforming lives as part of our purpose as an organisation. Golf for us is something we want to ensure is inclusive and that more Kenyans are given the opportunity to play the game going forward. We are therefore proud to support the development of golf in Kenya, and we believe that this clinic will go a long way in equipping young golfers with the skills they need to succeed. The enthusiasm and talent of these young golfers is inspiring, and it’s a privilege to be able to help them on their journey. We believe in the power of sport to transform lives and we are committed to supporting the development of golf in Kenya.”
Commenting on the training, Kenya’s Naomi Wafula said: “Training the next generation of golfers is a responsibility and privilege. Seeing the joy and progress of these junior golfers drives me to continue to pass on my knowledge and experience. It’s not just about developing their skills on the course, but also instilling in them a love for the game and a positive attitude towards challenges. Investing in our juniors is investing in the future of golf.”
The 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open is a major event in the Kenyan golfing calendar and draws golfers from all over the world.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) will be actively leveraging key hosted international sports events to market the destination locally, regionally, and internationally in 2023.
During the pandemic period of 2020-2022, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) leveraged key hosted sports events to promote Kenya among international and domestic tourists, including the Magical Kenya Open and the Savannah Classic part of the European Tour, the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, the WRC Safari rally which came back in 2019, The Kip Kieno Classic, and the East Africa Classic rally which catalyzed tourism in Kenya.
While welcoming the international players and visitors attending the 2023 Magical Kenya Ladies Open in Vipingo ridge, Kilifi County, the CS for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza said that her ministry would continue to utilize opportunities that sports events present in marketing Kenya to the world. “Sport is a global language and we shall continue to partner with the Ministry of Sports to ensure that we showcase our magical destination to the world,” said CS Malonza.
She added that the return of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open in 2023 was a testament to the growth of the sport in Kenya and the confidence there is in the destination “We are hosting golfers from various parts of the world including some of our key source markets. The diverse field is also part of the ongoing initiative to grow Kenya’s profile as a top golf tourism destination. Vipingo Ridge is strategically positioned which allows the visiting golfers, and spectators to visit some of the tourist locations found around the Coast and they can sample some of the experiences we have to offer. Such events are therefore a major boost for our tourism sector and we are delighted that Kenya is taking its rightful place on the world stage”
Through such events, the destination benefits from the extensive international media coverage which puts eyeballs on the destination as well as gives an opportunity for the participants to sample the destination through excursions in different attractions. For instance, The Magical Kenya open is transmitted to over 490 million homes in more than 150 countries, generating in excess of 2200 global broadcast hours” she added
Malonza reaffirmed her Ministry’s commitment to partnering with the Ministry of Sports and the arts in creating a calendar of Magical Kenya sporting events that will help market Kenya as the preferred global tourism destination.
Kenya’s sports season begins with the Magical Kenya Ladies Open (MKLO) held between 2th-5th February at the Baobab Course, Vipingo Ridge under the auspices of the Ladies European Tour (LET). This will be followed by the highly anticipated European-Tour (ET) sanctioned Magical Kenya Open (MKO), from 9th-12th March at Nairobi’s Muthaiga Golf Club.
The two events form part of the larger golfing season that has gained international recognition attracting players from across the globe. They will precede other international events to be held in the destination later in the year.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Ag. CEO John Chirchir says: “These tournaments have not only made Kenya a household name when it comes to great golf experience but has also introduced Kenya as a destination with exceptional travel opportunities. We are confident that the events will not only help grow interest in golf tourism in Kenya but also help reaffirm global confidence in travel to Kenya.” Said Chirchir
Golf is one of the key enablers of travel globally with the sport being prioritized as part of a wider program to drive sports tourism growth. In 2020, the World Golf Awards named Kenya as Africa’s leading Golf Destination, beating countries such as Morocco, South Africa, and Egypt which are considered the cream of golf in Africa.
Some of the events the detitanation is expected to host in 2023 include the Magical Kenya Ladies Open (MKLO), Magical Kenya Open, The WRC Safari rally, the Kip- Keino Classic among others
Lisa Pettersson created a buzz on the green at the ongoing Magical Kenya Ladies Open, making a hole-in-one on the par-three eighth, during the first round of play on Thursday.
As the official hole-in-one sponsor of the tournament, Johnnie Walker, through its parent company EABL, honored Pettersson with a bottle of the prestigious Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
EABL Head of Marketing Spirits, Jean Okech said: “We are thrilled to present Lisa Pettersson with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label for her incredible performance at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open. Johnnie Walker, as the leading scotch whiskey brand, and in line with our Keep Walking spirit, we are proud to recognize and celebrate this outstanding achievement. Pettersson’s hole-in-one was a testament to her skills and sportsmanship on the course. We hope this gesture serves as a memorable moment for her and a symbol of our appreciation for her skills and dedication to the sport of golf.”
Pettersson expressed her excitement about the hole-in-one and the recognition from Johnnie Walker, saying, “Making a hole-in-one is always a dream for any golfer and I was hoping I would do it soon. I have been close a few times but I never made a hole-in-one before and so I am really excited that I did it here in Kenya. I thank Johnnie Walker for this award and I will remember it for years to come.”
Pettersson is among the 63 golfers who have made the cut at the tournament, having finished the second round on a total of 7-over par. She heads to the final rounds, hoping to put up a stronger performance. “I have struggled a bit on the greens but I have been playing pretty solid, the wind is tricky and I just need a few more putts to drop, and then I’ll be ready for the weekend,” She added.
The Magical Kenya Ladies Open is a premier golf tournament that brings together some of the best female golfers from around the world. EABL through Johnnie Walker is among the main sponsors of the event and the official hole-in-one sponsor.