By Gardy Chacha
Describe your job...
Mixology is a specialised and uniquely created entertaining form of bartending, which entails serving bottled beverages, cocktails or beers with flair. The possibilities of mixing cocktails are endless, as wide as human imagination. I aim at exceeding expectations, meaning I go the extra mile not only in making a cocktail of drinks good, but also extraordinary. I make alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks suitable for every person’s (any client’s) preference, according to their taste.
Is it an art, talent or do you go to school to train?
For me, it’s both an art and a talent. Mixology is not only a job; it is a way of life. It is hospitality and not everyone can do it. There’s a certain way you’re supposed to be, especially fun loving.
What were your dreams while growing up?
That’s amusing! My dream was to become a pilot. I was always intrigued by their way of life.
How and why did you go into mixology?
My first job was in Dubai as a housekeeping attendant. During our days off, my friends and I would go to a club called Plan B. The mixologists there looked like they enjoyed what they did and what their work caught our eyes. The way they made the cocktails, presented themselves, dressed and looked was very enticing. From then on, we all determined to pursue mixology.
What do you love about your job?
Everything. It has become my way of life. It is interesting to create my own cocktails, go to different places and meet different people. I also like the fact that I get to make people happy or at least get them to enjoy a drink.
Why do you think mixology is a career?
A career is basically a job or profession one does or loves doing and can earn a living from. Mixology is, therefore, a career, but more so, a lifestyle. I do this because I love it. I get to create memorable experiences and leave people both impressed and happily astonished.
What sort of personality do you have?
I am open-minded and have good interpersonal skills. I could be a little bit of an extrovert and socialite in good measure.
How do you ensure that you stay sober in a job that could mean you get drunk every day?
I understand that as much as I would want to have fun while working, there’s a certain level of discipline I have to maintain. I have to find a balance between work and fun because at the end of the day, it’s a job. I have done this for a while now and experience has taught me to be in control of myself and exercise professionalism.
What are the main challenges of your job?
Africa hasn’t quite started appreciating what we do, so sometimes the pay isn’t as good as it should be. At times, the jobs we get called for don’t have enough ingredients that we would need to accomplish the job. It gets quite frustrating sometimes, but those are rough edges in every job.
Tell us about your education from high school...
I went to Hospital Hill High School, Nairobi. I stayed home for a while then a family friend was able to get me a job in Dubai. I went for training and was employed before I decided to pursue mixology in Dubai.
Do you mind what people think about your job?
I don’t because most of the times they’re impressed when they hear what I do. The term mixology somehow intrigues them. I also think everyone is entitled to their opinion. What matters is the fact that I know what I am doing and I am confident about it.
What are you focusing to achieve in future?
I hope that we will have more clientele to work with. I have done mixology in Nairobi, Naivasha and Mombasa. I am focusing on getting into other markets like Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.
A peek into your way of life?
The secret is to enjoy and love doing what you do. Be passionate about it and everything else will fall into place.