Saturday 15th September, 2018 was the day Ben Morrison (Flipflopi founder) and the team of flipflopi officially put Lamu, Kenya on the world map. They officially launched the first dhow made of recycled plastic. This was such a huge deal, not only for Lamu residents but the world at large. They showed us how trash can be turned into something meaningful. This was also to raise awareness for our environment, not that they loved collecting trash, but it was their way of educating and giving back tangible lessons to the community. With the ban of plastic bags in Kenya in 2017, we have seen a reduction of rubbish/litter however, there are still lots of plastic bottles and straws laying around. This is what the team is trying to discourage and encourage recycling. Less use of plastic and more use of paper based material. Having the launch on world clean-up day also spoke volumes.
The launch was colourful and eventful (what else do you expect from the fun lovers of Lamu). We had traditional music with amazing background drummers, a huge cheerful crowd. Did I mention food, lots and lots of food including well made camel meat. It was my first time eating camel meat and I can say, I loved it. Still can’t find the right words for that yumminess but its meat worth trying. We had different kinds of displays made of different recycled materials. Then the reason why we were all gathered, the flipflopi dhow. Super colourful, it calls for you, from wherever you are. It’s now the peacock of dhows, standing up tall, proud and beautiful ready to announce itself. It gives such positive vibes just at its first sight. It’s one of those things whose background you would love to know. Having been in the works for 2 year with numerous challenges but they still saw it through,what did you expect? Learn more about the last two years and the on going progress.
The occasion was graced by Hon. Najib Balala, Minister of tourism and wildlife; his deputy Hon. Mulei; Hon. Abdulhakim Aboud Bwana Lamu deputy governor; Hon. Ruweida Obbo Lamu County women rep and other county/government leaders.
Part of what got from this from was;
1. Even when people don’t believe in you stick to your dream. Believe in yourself and one day they will too
2. Be persistent, difficulties will go but let your yes be stronger than your fear
3. Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
4. Let’s do our part in this cleaning up fight, it has to be a communal effort
5. Let’s start embracing recycled materials/ equipment
6. We as Kenyans and the world need to be ready for that mind shift on how we do a lot of things
7. Once you make one keep at it don’t stop till you are done.
With no.7 said let’s help flipflopi achieve its dream of getting a bigger, better dhow to Cape Town and beyond by donating what we can.