Pearls And Heels: Jamila El-Jabry


It’s another Monday and time to meet a woman who makes Mombasa look beautiful through her camera lens. Today we go to the coast to meet a woman who works, lives and plays in Mombasa.Our Pearl And Heels lady today  is Jamila El-Jabry. Jamila El-Jabry is a Communications Specialist at Muse Digital. She also manages www.LifeinMombasa which is an online magazine for those exploring Mombasa food, culture and architecture. Her vision is to try and restore the image of Mombasa through photography.   Having lived in different countries, no city makes her heart skip a beat like Mombasa. She says the rich vibrant culture, the architectural Old Town and of course the savory Swahili food make her fall in love with Mombasa each day.  She is a photographer and blogger to watch. She has also been a guest contributor on Potentash and some of her pictures have also featured here.

Jamila El-Jabry 3


1.Describe your typical day?

My day varies from day to day, but my typical day starts at 6 am. I check my social media for any news updates, and social media for my clients. Start getting ready to go to the office for the day. The usual is updating my blog and working on my portfolio of clients. Some days will consist of me going for a photoshoot, or just whole day meetings.

2.What did you want to be when you grew up?

Work in the corporate world. I had no specific career but I just wanted that feel of working in corporate company.

3.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Actually I just did, about 7 months ago I quit my job in banking to pursue my new passion for photography and social media. I bought a camera and all gadgets to start a photography profession. I also started a Digital Marketing company with a few friends. It has been great move for me; I am more content with my life. I find myself exploring my strength and weaknesses every day.

4.What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your job?

Patience + courage + Passion

The three go together to be successful, especially as a photographer. Clients will always a)change ideas all the time, you have to have the patience to keep listening to your clients b) you know you have passion for your work to be recognizable but people will try to undermine you and try to ask for freebies you have to be courageous to stand up for your work and demand your right.

5.As a professional how is it working in the Mombasa? Is Mombasa open to what you do or what could be better?

Mombasa hasn’t embraced photography and digital marketing yet, its slowly accepting it but not as in Nairobi. But as soon as it picks up, we will be in the market longer than others.

6.What motivates you?

Success and passion for what I do. I love taking photos, the colours always mesmerize me and keep me going.

7.How do you define success?

Success is being happy with where you are. You could have a fancy job and all the achievement, but if you are not happy with your life it’s not being successful.

8.Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My grandmother, she was the most hardworking woman I grew up with. She was a housewife but nothing stopped her from being the good neighbour, the supporting mother. She was always there for support.

9.What is your favorite aspect of your job?

When I show photos to my clients and they just love them, it makes me happy and thankful.

10.What would you say are the key elements to being successful?

Take your time in everything you do, stand up for your rights and above all just be yourself.

11.What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?

To be patient, it is not easy but along the way you find yourself.

12.What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of career?

Changing my career, to photography and digital marketing.

13.What makes you happy?

Taking photos of Mombasa, the rich culture, history and cuisine of Mombasa always makes me happy.

14.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

I run a blog called Life in Mombasa, online magazine for those exploring Mombasa food, culture and architect. The aim of the Magazine is to change the face of Mombasa, to show the different types of culture through photography and personal blogs

15.Where you see yourself in around 10 years?

Rich enough to be traveling the world and capturing the different cultures through photography.

Remember to check out Life in Mombasa for some great content and pictures about Mombasa. Also interact with Jamila on twitter at and you can also follow the team at to find out what’s happening in Mombasa.

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Potentash Founder. A creative writer and editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]