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Ireland updates travel advisory to Kenya after double Sh1m JKIA ivory fines



Ireland has updated its travel advisory to Kenya after two Europeans were fined Sh1 million each following their arrest at JKIA with ornaments made from ivory.

The advice follows two back-to-back high-profile prosecutions of people caught with bangles made from ivory.

“Possession of ivory in any form is a crime in Kenya and can result in a large fine or imprisonment. This is an offence of strict liability, which means that there is no defence which can be offered,” Irish department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says in part. The advice was updated on

On August 20, Pich-Aguilera Maria, a 50-year-old Spanish national who had been arrested the previous day at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with an ivory bangle weighing 0.025g was released after paying a Sh1 million court fine.

A week earlier, a French national Laazibi Amal was also fined Sh1 million for being in possession of an ivory bangle weighing 0.85 grams.

The Irish government updated the travel advice on Wednesday.

“Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal,” adds the advice.

READ ALSO:   Another foreigner arrested at JKIA with ivory bangle

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DIFFERENT: Kenyatta to lead Madaraka Day celebrations via Video link



This year’s Madaraka Day celebrations, which had been scheduled to be held in Kisii on June 1, will be marked virtually in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given that public gatherings have been banned and Kenyans advised to observe social distancing, the government has put in place mechanisms for a virtual celebration which will be streamed through all media houses and social media platforms.

In a circular to all regional commissioners, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the virtual celebrations will run from 8am and will culminate in the live address by President Uhuru Kenyatta from State House, Nairobi.

He said the prevailing situation, with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic, has made it difficult to have public gatherings to mark the day.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, President Kenyatta has been holding national events at State House. This includes the Labour Day celebrations on May 1.

The Madaraka Day production will be packed with entertainment and documentaries that highlight Kenya’s culture and development milestones, he said.


“This is therefore to ask you to advice the public to remain at home and follow the celebrations on radio and television,” directed Mr Kibicho.

Sources said that Kisii County might host the Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20 if the pandemic will have been contained.

READ ALSO:   Another foreigner arrested at JKIA with ivory bangle

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Meet the brains behind online therapy sessions for athletes



Covid-19 has changed how most people and organizations with a lot of work now being done from home. The sports industry has also changed with athletes mostly working out from through online platforms like Zoom.

Two psychologists have also embraced the change and are now offering free therapy sessions for athletes.

Rowena Tirop and Kanyali Ilako, who work under the umbrella of Brain Frees Consultancies, say the main reason they are offering free therapy sessions to athletes is because they realized athletes are going through difficult times at the moment and their mental health has been ignored for a while even before the pandemic.

The therapy sessions will kick off on Monday 25th June and will end on Friday 5th June. They will be conducted via phone calls, Whatsapp and Zoom.

Nairobi News caught up with the duo recently.

In a nutshell, who are you?

Rowena Tirop: We are a partnership of two ladies working under one umbrella, Brain Frees Consultancies. I have a background in competitive swimming, hockey and football. I have a degree in Psychology and Counselling and MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology. I have worked with a collegiate rugby Union in London and currently work with the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)

Kanyali Ilako: I have an MSc in Sports and Performance Psychology and my background is in competitive swimming. I have worked with Olympic swimmers in Finland, a league one football team in Greece, at the International Tennis Federation (ITA) East Africa training center in Kenya and I’m also an intellectual impairment classifier with the International Paralympic committee (IPC).

READ ALSO:   Another foreigner arrested at JKIA with ivory bangle

How did you get into this profession?

Kanyali Ilako: Having been a competitive swimmer and then coach, I realized that athletes and coaches get support nutritionally, physically through Strength and Conditioning training but there was still a gap in the mental health aspect and I have always been passionate about the importance and de-stigmatization of mental health.

Rowena Tirop: I love always loved sports. My intrigue rose from seeing athletes injured and the process of getting them back to playing. Following this I noticed the main priorities were physical and nutritional health and the mental health was rarely focused on. Watching Mike Friday’s coaching sessions, and the former Kenya Sevens team playing sealed it for me and I decided to combine the two things I enjoy, psychology and sport.

How has the experience been so far?

Kanyali Ilako: The experience has been great so far people are intrigued and interested and surprisingly not shy to reach out. Having worked with different organizations, clubs and individuals and recently appearing on different media platforms addressing this in the last 3 years there is growth and appreciation for this service.

Kanyali Ilako. PHOTO | COURTESY

What is your take on the uptake of such a professional service you are offering among Kenyan athletes?

Rowena Tirop: It is very important. There is no health without mental health, to break through your performance you have to break through your psychology.

READ ALSO:   Another foreigner arrested at JKIA with ivory bangle

Is there a demand for the same?

Kanyali Ilako: Yes, now more than ever. COVID-19 has altered all our lives and the changes that have come about, as a result, have led to an increase in sedentary behaviors and in turn it has contributed to an increase in mental ailments such as anxiety, frustration, irritability and depressive moods. Athletes are facing career disruptions, as experienced with injuries or retirement, and are led to training in less effective environments without their coaches and teams.

Any challenges?

Rowena Tirop: It is still a very new thing here, with the two of us being the only ones currently practicing it in Kenya. However, there has been significant progress in the field of Psychology and Psychiatry towards the destigmatization of mental disorders. We have to keep going.

What prompted you to start online therapy sessions?

Kanyali Ilako: It is a very difficult time for athletes and coaches and we wanted to reach as many people as we could.

Anything else you’d like to clarify?

Rowena Tirop: Yes. People confuse psychologists and psychiatrists a lot. We are psychologists, not psychiatrists.

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, they can prescribe medications and they spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment while psychologists focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients with behavioral interventions.

READ ALSO:   Another foreigner arrested at JKIA with ivory bangle


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Why Coca-Cola won’t take her



Coca-Cola Company on Monday bowed to online pressure and stated their position the little girl from Baringo who warmed many hearts with viral photos of her joyfully sipping a Coke drink.

The pictures of four-year-old Joy Jebiwott, in a traditional African set-up,  said to have been taken by Daggy Shy, a Baringo born photographer, prompted Kenyans to launch an online campaign to have the multinational soft drink giant adopt the girl as their brand ambassador.

However, the company, in a statement, said they have a policy of not using anyone below the age of 12 years in marketing.

“This is pure happiness. You’ve made us smile by sharing this beautiful image. As a company we have made a decision not to use children under the age of 12 in our adverts and marketing worldwide, but we do love seeing the creativity and passion for our brand,” the company said in their statement.

Earlier, the father of the girl had expressed his joy with the viral photos saying he has no reservations with the company working with his daughter.


“If it is possible for her to be made a Coca-Cola brand ambassador, it is okay,” Jacob Keror, the father of the girl stated.

The firm’s responsible marketing policy clearly states out that they do not design their marketing communications in a way that directly appeals to children under 12.

READ ALSO:   Another foreigner arrested at JKIA with ivory bangle

“Specifically, we will not use, in any communications created after the date of adoption of this policy: Celebrities or characters whose primary appeal is to children under 12, with the exception of brand equity characters already in use…Licensed merchandise whose primary appeal is to children under 12. Images of our products being consumed by children under 12 without an adult present. We will not feature any children who are, or appear to be, under 3,” Coca-Coca policy published on their website states.


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August 2019


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