Ben Kelliher loves water sporting. All the way from Snorkeling, to kite surfing to kayaking and coral reefs for scuba diving among others, Ben is an enthusiast when it comes to water sporting.
He loved the sport so much that he has formed a thriving business out of it.
Dubbed Maji Magic this is a water based activity centre right at the the heart of Nairobi.
“With an array of fun filled activities you can be sure to have a whale of a time!” a statement on the Maji Magic’s site reads adding that Maji Magic is like nothing on Earth. An all-round water based activity center in the heart of Karen Nairobi.
Mr Kelliher has been in the industry for several years now and is set to lauch one of the biggest waster sporting centres in Nairobi next month.
“If you’re looking to get wet and wild, then Maji Magic is the destination for you. With an array of fun filled activities on hand you can be sure to have a whale of a time!” he said on his site.
Let’s talk water sporting. How would you describe this industry in Kenya?
Water sports has been around in Kenya for a long time, it has been a draw for tourism to the Kenya coast for decades, but as a tourism product in Kenya it was always overshadowed by the safari sector. With the introduction of kitesurfing in the last 10 years and the opening of internationally recognised watersports centers such as Tribe Watersports the Kenyan coast is becoming more recognised globally as a water sports mecca. This sector is predominantly consumed by tourists and it is a shame that we don’t see more Kenyans getting into the water and enjoying the opportunities that are on offer. This is our aim with Maji Magic to introduce and train more Kenyans in the watersports sector.
What inspired you to dive into this sector?
I was lucky enough to grow up in Kenya and my family had a house in Watamu since I was very young. I was always a bit of a water baby spending my school holidays on the Indian Ocean windsurfing, body boarding, snorkelling and scuba diving. With the introduction of Kitesurfing in to Kenya in the late 90’s, I was lucky enough to be in a situation to get involved and really it shaped my life from there, I was addicted.
Did you have prior training in this field?
So once I ventured into the employment market I knew that I wanted to work in the watersports industry. As a young teenager the easiest way to do this is to train as a watersports instructor, I qualified as a kitesurfing, windsurfing and a wake boarding instructor.
I packed my bags and travelled the world teaching watersports. When I finally decided to go to university, I studied Marine Sports and moved back to Kenya shortly after to open Tribe Watersports.
How did you start your career in Kenya?
Bottom line was investment into Kenya, I saw a gap in the market for an internationally recognised Kitesurfing School, having worked for the British Kitesurfing association through and after university I knew what was required to create a world leading watersports training company and I knew Kenya had the conditions to make it work.
Challenges you have faced in this field?
With Tribe Watersports, we have not really had many challenges other than those experienced by all those in the tourism sector over the last 5 years.
It’s great to see the sector recovering and the national parks busy again be it Marine or Terrestrial. We will be launching Maji Magic in early December so it will be exciting to see the challenges that lie ahead for us.
How would you rate watersporting in Kenya?
Kenya truly is one of the world’s leading water sports destinations. We have great waves for Surfing, Winds for sailing sports such as kitesurifng, rivers for kayaking and coral reefs for scuba diving. There are very few destinations globally that can boast such fantastic conditions all year round like we can here in Kenya.
As I have mentioned already we are launching a new company Maji Magic. This is going to be a water sports facility here in Nairobi, at The Waterfront Mall in Karen. It will consist of Africa’s first Aqua Park, it’s worth doing a web search to see exactly what that is. We will also be installing a Wakeboard and Water Ski Cable park; the first of its kind in East Africa. To compliment these activities we you will also be able to Stand Up Paddle board and Zorb at this facility as well. Our aim with this company is to make water sports more accessible to Kenyans and for them to learn about the great activities that can be taken on here in Kenya.