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
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.
Eldad Nahum is managing at the ‘Villa Kalista’
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
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
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
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
For Eldad who doesn’t shy away from
challenges, Managing Villa Kalista is indeed an exciting
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
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
His says life in most European
capitals has become like robots with no human feelings
He is currently working on a concept
that will embrace cultural tourism to complement the
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.