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Eldad Nahum To Awaken Diani At ‘Villa Kalista’

Coastweek-- Eldad Nahum went through the education systems in Jerusalem questioning its efficacy in preparing the students for the reality of the job market, writes HILLARY NAMANJIA.

He had anticipated things to be different on joining the university.

But his urge to engage in what he believed will prepare him for the future seemed elusive even there.

After one semester at the campus, he realised that he needed to make up his mind on what he wanted out of life.

He yearned for something more exciting; he needed something that would connect him to humanity without consideration of colour, race, nationality or economic status.

He was looking for a direction that will lead him to a melting cultural pot.

After a lot of soul searching, Eldad decided to spend his one month holiday exploring India’s old age cultures.

But before leaving for India, he embarked on fact finding about the country.


  Coastweek-- Eldad Nahum is managing at the ‘Villa Kalista’ Diani.

On contacting his cousin who has a good understanding of the country, he instead persuaded Eldad to come to Kenya instead of going to India.

On his arrival at Jomo Kenyatta international airport, Eldad immediately felt at home away from home.

He blames the media, both local and international for dwelling more on negative aspects of the Kenyan society ignoring the overwhelming positive attributes of this great Nation.

“Throughout my elementary schooling up to the time I joined university, I had only en-countered narratives about the big five, and beautiful sandy beaches but nothing had prepared me for the friendly nature of the Kenyan people especially towards visitors.”

He says as he takes us around Villa Kalisita, a five star luxuries presidential facility where he is currently the General Manager.

While in Kenya, he first visited Naivasha, Naikuru and various game parks.

Whenever he was not exploring and discovering the magical Kenya, Eldad would hang around his cousin’s work place at the Art cafe in Nairobi.

He says it’s while at the Art cafe where he stumbled on what he had been looking for.

He didn’t even realise that his one month holiday was over and due to resume his studies at the University in Jerusalem.

Without realising, the management at Art Cafe had also noticed his passion as well as his ability to grasp new information on the off chance.

They had also noticed the fact that he was wasn’t really excited about going back to Israel so they asked him if he would like to stay.

Without blinking an eye, he accepted the offer.

He travelled back to Israel, discontinued his university learning and flew back to Kenya to start a two year stint at the Art Cafe as the Operations Manager.

It is during this time that Eldad developed a philosophy on customer service delivery.

He believes and practices that, service must be delivered fast, in a friendly manner to the customer’s satisfaction.

“You can queue in a bank for a long time waiting to be served, wait for your dentist as he serves another client, but you can’t wait for a long time to be served food,” he says as he mixes spices preparing chicken on the oven at his private apartment in Diani.

Asked if he considers himself a chef judging from accolades emanating from friends and acquaintances, without hes-itation he replies, “My life is not all about food.

“Cooking for me is first a passion and a hobby,” Eldad spends a considerable amount of time learning from the master chefs in the industry and bringing in his creative impulse to the satisfaction of those who have had the opportunity of sampling his creative delicacies.

“I am waiting anxiously to taste Eldad’s chicken on the oven, the aroma filtering in the room, can only be explained by the fact that, different from the standard chicken in the oven,” Eldad has added  Tahini, a popular source in every Jewish household.

For Eldad who doesn’t shy away from challenges, Managing Villa Kalista is indeed an exciting challenge.

Villa Kalista (Most beautiful in Greek) is a collection of six three storey presidential class luxury villas.

Very ideal for those who value privacy cocktailed with royalty.

Its located 40 kilo metres south of Mombasa and 15 kilo metres from Ukunda airstrip.

All of the six villas embrace a contemporary style with African flavour at the same time offering a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean.

For Eldad, Villa Kalista as it is requires a five star service, a service that will bring on board the cultural aspect of the Kenyan society.

He believes that beyond clean sandy beaches and luxury accommodations, Kenya and to some extend most African societies have something fundamental that most of those from western countries can learn from.

He views Kenyans as very friendly people especially towards visitors.

He gives an example of two Europeans staying in the same flat back at home, travels via the same travel agency, staying in the same hotel but they don’t know each other, neither do they even acknowledge one another.

His says life in most European capitals has become like robots with no human feelings at all.

He is currently working on a concept that will embrace cultural tourism to complement the existing packages.

Eldad is well supported by Faiza Banji, the Managing Director of Villa Kalista who is an avid supporter of creative activities in Mombasa.

In collaboration with Silent Itch initiative, Villa Kalista is set to awaken Diani with theatrical as well as general creative activities starting with a comedy show end of April this year.

Eldad’s main prayer is for Kenya to go through a peaceful elections period, which in turn will bring back the much needed confidence for those wishing to visit the country and experience something different from the experiences of concrete jungles.

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