The five schools of Mekaela Academies are located around Ukunda, a small town with an estimated population of 50,000 (2014) approx. 50 km south of Mombasa along the South Coast of Kenya.
Manuel Alexander School (M.A.S.) and Mekaela Heshima Primary School (H.P.S.) are located pretty much in the centre of Diani Beach. Mekaela Ratinga Junior School (M.R.J.), Likunda Primary School (L.P.S) and Lulu High School are in the vicinity of the village Mabungo on the main road from Ukunda to Lunga Lunga on the Tanzanian border. The plots of land located far enough from the roads so traffic noise is barely noticeable. Ukunda is only a few minutes walk away from Mabungo, so many parents can save the expensive transport to school. For families who live further away the boarding facilities of Mekaela Academies is very attractive.
The region is the home of the Muslim tribe of the Digo. Due to the booming tourism, people from all over Kenya have been attracted to this area, so that in the meantime all tribes are to be found on the southern coast. East Africa owes the (Ki-)Swahili language to the South Coast, which was the result of the mixture of the languages of the Arabs, the local people and the Portuguese. Swahili derives from the Arabic word sahel meaning coast.
The Digo are peaceful fishing folk. Unfortunately, however, they were caught on the wrong foot by the boom of tourism, so the most lucrative real-estate and businesses are mostly in hands of the so-called up-country people. Useless villains (they prefer to call themselves “politicians”) for some reason make use of this imbalance of wealth (greed one could call it) to plot and ploy for hostilities. Luckily, the people of the South Coast are not only peaceful but also friendly, and the frictions end without too much harm being done.
For most of the Wazungu (white people) it is rather difficult to distinguish the different tribes at a glance. Yet it is often quite easy to recognise which tribe they belong to when seeing their family name written. A few examples: The names of the Taita usually begin with “Mw…”, those of the Meru with “Mu…”, of the Kikuyu with “Ng…”, those of the Digo end with “o”, and so on.