It is sometimes hilariously argued by alcohol lovers that beer does not have many vitamins and that’s why one has to drink lots of it. And for Kenyans, this can be never be truer for the vibrant youth who perhaps live up to Irish Playwright’s George Shaw’s famous belief that alcohol is the anesthesia by which people endure the operation of life.
Today for obvious reasons of limited legal operating hours of entertainment spots, cessation of movement and the introduction of social distancing- traffic to these dens of merry may have slowed but Kenyans sticking to their own parlance, the reggae is yet to stop.
Quenching the alcohol and fun thirst from a lonely house or even a car with deafening music may never be matched to the usual set up of the club where revellers laugh, talk and joke without a care in the world but it has to be done anyway.
A small number have chosen safety and pursued happiness indoors while an even bigger score won’t just settle with the new situation. They are willing to bribe the bar owners to be locked inside and have the free flow of alcohol during daytime- a somewhat addictive game that extends into the night. This they do oblivious to the danger they expose themselves to and thanks to inebriation all Covid-19 caution is thrown into the wind.
What this directly indicates is that not even the extended operating hours of these joints will satiate the undying crave for fun freedom as most put it. The wines and spirits outlets maybe making a kill with bars not fully opening up. Their existence has only encouraged more drunkenness in most of Nairobi’s vibrant middle-class estates such as South C, Nyayo Estate, Donholm, Jamhuri, and Roysambu.
These merry makers are fueled by the nagging nostalgia of when partying from dusk to dawn and mindlessly hopping from one club to the next was the complete night-out haul. According to them, while bars and restaurants are back to being partially open, it cannot be compared to when club and tavern posters enticingly read “open till dawn” or “crazy offers on liquor today!” and hundreds would flock and literally stay up till sunshine.
When the coronavirus struck the world like a bad unending nightmare, most people are now slowly realizing that this global scourge is now a terrifying reality.
A quick stroll into Nairobi’s social joints on a Friday night reveals that there aren’t as many options as they used to. Some of the most popular are yet to open leaving revellers either stuck at the few open ones and for some simply wishing the good old days would resume. Even with the extended operating hours by the government and of course with ruling that all these places of fun and food observe all the measures to curb the spread, Kenyans seem to want more. The reality now particularly to the operators is that the bars remain deserted making the business not just slow but the ambiance dark and uninviting.
Nairobi city is wildly live, popping with a vibrant music and art scene and is home to the majority of Kenyan youth who are hyperactive and are fond of splurging wads of cash towards entertainment and fun. With parking lots, car wash joints, and residential parks being the new fields of indulgence-looks like nothing has changed. Not even the rising number of coronavirus cases will deter them. Surprisingly, as the toll rises so has the fear for the disease decreased.
While the newly invented places of fun may not come with free live soccer streaming, tempting discounts on food and drinks or even the beloved happy hour-they come with unlimited fun time. The new spots are away from the patrol of police giving party lovers the chance to have fun till late into the night, play loud music from portable music boxes or cars and do drugs as the carousing tempo rages higher.