June 6, 2021 is a day that will leave a mark in the minds of members of the Kenyan community in Germany. Adorned in their ‘Sunday best’, traditional attires, one by one, they logged into the long-awaited online event to meet and greet their new Kenyan ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Thomas Boniface Amolo.
The event, organised by Kenyan Women in Germany e.V. (KWIG), was also graced by Ambassador Esther Nyambura Mungai and embassy staff members Emma Malinda and Alex Karuma. Various Kenyan entrepreneurs, associations and project coordinators were also at the event.
Jacky Kuhn, Chairperson and Founder of KWIG, started the event with an opening speech. Ms Kuhn invited everyone to the meeting and stated that the aim of the session was to get to know the new ambassador and his agenda for the Kenyan community in Germany. She added that issues and complaints concerning the consular section such as issuance of passports, IDs , marriage certificates, among others, are already at the ambassador’s desk.
Jacky Achieng Kuhn, founder and chairperson of KWIG/Photo: Jacky Achieng Kuhn
The program was divided in two parts. The first part was the introduction of a few businesses, associations and initiatives that are being run by Kenyans in Germany. The second part was dedicated to the guest of honour, Mr. Amolo, who later invited Emma Malinda from the embassy’s consular section to say a few words.
Impressed by the work KWIG and other projects and initiatives headed by Kenyan women are doing in Germany, Mr. Amolo said that men should also “embrace the challenge” and look into creating a space where they can mutually support each other.
Elizabeth Horlemann, co-founder of KWIG and founder of Racethink Dinners, challenged Mr. Amolo to take it upon himself to guide the men in the Kenyan community to keep up with the amazing work the women are doing.
“The diaspora platform is very important for our president and our country,” said Mr. Amolo. For this reason, it is very important that Kenyans in Germany register with the embassy in Berlin. This will make it easier for the embassy to reach the various networks within the Kenyan community and will go a long way in improving communication channels. This will also come in handy when investments and business opportunities arise.
Mr. Amolo said that instead of always reaching out to big German companies, he can use the database to also find companies within the Kenyan community. “In terms of trade, we will look into opportunities for those of you who want to do business and invest.” Mr. Amolo added that leveraging business and investment networks for the Kenyan community in Germany is on top of his agenda.
If the corona pandemic allows it, Mr. Amolo is open to have representatives from regional Kenyan communities meet up with him towards the end of the year. His team would also be ready to visit various communities to interact with them and address issues that Kenyans are facing.
Ambassador Thomas Amola and his wife, Mrs Iris Matlhodi Kekana-Amolo
Regarding the issuance of documents such as Kenyan Identity Cards and marriage certificates, a discussion with authorities in Kenya is already underway.
Emma Malinda said that although the embassy has reopened, the premises can only take limited number of appointments at a time, which is in line with the set corona regulations. However, the intake of appointments will increase as time goes by.
Ms Malinda then also insisted on Kenyans registering with the embassy so that they can know who is doing what. She also encouraged Kenyans holding German citizenship to take advantage of the Kenyan permanent residency permit, so that they could enjoy some of the benefits that were taken away when they renounced their Kenyan citizenship.
The event was not only filled with speeches and presentations, as renowned and talented Deejay Buuchezo provided some musical entertainment to the delight of the guests.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Nelly Okumu, admin and project coordinator at KWIG. Bramwel Omondi, researcher and co-founder of Stell Dir Vor, and Philly Yambo Makora, leader of KWIG Press and Founder of Tales of Yambo, moderated the event.
Through the event, KWIG was able to bring the Kenyan community together on one platform to discuss a way forward in terms of development. From the positive feedback of participants, this was a first of very many meetings to come.
Here is the list of speakers at the event:
- Eateries & Shops (Gill Lwangu, Wanjiku De Lindner)
- Entertainment Sector (Deejay Buuchezo)
- Racethink Workshops (Elizabeth Horlemann)
Associations & Initiatives
- Kenyans in Berlin (Ben Njogu)
- Kenyans in NRW (John Mwadime)
- Kenyans in Bayern (Bramwel Omondi)
- Rafikis am Main (Joseph Kimani)
- Kenyan Women in Germany (Elizabeth Horlemann)
- African Nurses in Germany (Rose Peters)
- AG-Career Hub (Njoki Mwangi)
- WIDU Consultancy (Clara Agoko)
- Author/Blogger (Charity Wairimu)
Philly Yambo Makora, KWIG Press and CEO and Founder Tales of Yambo
More information about Kenyan Women in Germany e.V. at www.kwig.eu