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Kenya gets the first gospel discotheque-Mamba

By Philip Mwakio | Published Mon, July 9th 2012 at 00:00, Updated July 9th 2012 at 13:22 GMT +3
Mamba disco in Mombasa. (Photo:Kevin Odit/Standard)

By Philip Mwakio

Discotheques are associated with sin, promiscuity and a carefree life but a new establishment in Mombasa is giving a new twist to nightlife.

Christian faithful now have a chance to shake a leg to gospel music all night long in a disco club that plays only gospel music.

This is after Mamba International Discotheque in the coastal city of Mombasa was converted into a gospel centre.

Mamba International Discotheque was a popular location in Mombasa’s nightlife before the club closed down a few years ago.

It has played host to among others celebrated world musicians like king of dancehall reggae music Sean Paul as well as Lingala Music maestros Koffi Olomide, Kanda Bongoman, General Defao and Fally Ipupa.

With these stars parading at the venue, its popularity increased, leading to its standing as an entertainment centre of choice in the mid-1990s.

Mamba Disco later faced stiff competition from relatively new establishments that had cropped up in and around Mombasa city and it was forced to close down.

John William Kameta, 47, a Mombasa businessman and sports promoter came up with the idea of sprucing up the place and turning it into what is now Kenya’s first and largest ultra modern Gospel Discotheque.

“I have always embraced music and was already strumming the guitar at age 12,” Mr Kameta said.

He says both the old and young at heart now have an opportunity to patronise Mamba disco without worrying about losing their spiritual connection with the creator.

The new venture is beginning to gain popularity and is already attracting quite a sizeable crowd of gospel lovers.

Televangelist Bishop Wilfred Lai of the Redeemed Gospel Church dedicated the premises to God during its launch in March.

Unlike in the past when the place would be full of alcohol and skimpily dressed patrons, the club, located along the Nyali Links Road opposite the Nyali Golf Course, resembles a true place of worship.

The larger-than-life dancing floor still occupies the centre of the amphitheater where great dancing styles were the order of the day in its heyday.

“Gospel Music is a special form of worship. It struck me one day when I was on a social outing with my beloved wife that the DJ played a gospel song that pulled crowds onto the floor,’’ Mr Kameta said.

He says their doors are open to people from all faiths who want to patronise the joint to sample what they have to offer.

Mamba Disco had been lying idle for a while and Mr Kameta approached its owners who readily agreed to lease it out.

It is open on Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday late afternoons.