Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says the government has not given up hope of working with Lupita Nyong’o in marketing Brand Kenya.
Speaking during an interview with KTN News, Balala suggested the government has outlined an offer for the award-winning actress.
He also reiterated he’d unsuccessfully tried to reach Lupita, who is the daughter of Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong’o.
“Unfortunately, we could not reach her in terms of complications of how do we engage her, how much it is going to cost to bring her on board… those are the things that we are ready to engage with her team, and then we are ready to appoint her as well,” he said.
The CS added that they are not discriminating against anybody in terms of the appointment and that they are open to the local as well as the international celebrities.
Balala’s sentiments come two months after Lupita suggested the government had not reached out to her.
Balala has also been on the spot for engaging British actress Naomi Campbell with Kenyans on social media suggesting one of their own should have been handed the role.
“I know everybody is asking why not Lupita. Lupita has commitments and her managers cannot allow us to access her. We’ve spent the last five years looking for Lupita,” Balala said at the time.
In a rejoinder on Twitter, Lupita hash-tagged her response to the Ministry of Tourism telling it she was available, #Imrightherebaby #alternativefacts accompanied with a picture of her laughing ironically.
“Me when I hear the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism has been looking for me for five years,” she captioned her tweet.
Last month, Campbell irked Kenyans again, with a major gaffe, after sharing a 2:43 minute video clip on Instagram which has more than 10 million followers titled Naomi Experiences Kenya but used a Nigeria song as the soundtrack.
The song, In My Maserati, by Nigerian artist Olakira, can be heard in the background as she showcases Kenya’s vast coastal beauty and its people.
In her first statement since she was appointed by the Ministry of Tourism Campbell said she was honoured to be Kenya’s International Ambassador.