Kelen Gitaru and Beatrice Chibutsa during Blankets and Wine's 'Summer Bunnies Edition' at Ngong Racecourse, January 2020. [Felix Kavii, Standard]

One of the popular club hits of the mid-1990s that still rules the night clubs is R Kelly’s Summer Bunnies rap track.

It is the same tone Bensoul, Nviiri The Storyteller and Fancy Fingers picked in their last month’s release, Summer Bunny.

“I wanna be close to you than my neighbours

Close to you than my friends

Tusingojee ifike December

And I wanna see you every day,” so the refrain goes.

The two hits made the highlights during two major Nairobi-hosted gigs last weekend; one held at the former Kiza Lounge, now known as Kulture, and another held at Four Points by Sheraton in Hurlingham, Nairobi.

Both were predominantly attended by Kenyans from the Diaspora who were back home for the December holidays.

It is not over though. The last of the Summer Bunnies parties were on this weekend.

Traditionally the Nairobi mid-January period is usually livened by club action by Summer Bunnies holding their last parties before flying back abroad for another year of academics and work.

Typically, Summer Bunny parties are like throwback parties dedicated to homesick Kenyans, who after being away from the country for long, get to catch up with all that has been taking place in the party scene throughout the year.

They hang out in the clubs bonding with the ‘local peeps’ who share all the interesting things about the party life. A joke is shared on how these Summer Bunnies speak with accent, having been away in “America” and have the image of a foreigner; white cotton Gucci and Louis Vuitton apparels and sunglasses (to say its Summer).

In fact, in most parties, it is dictated that attendees should wear white. 

“I hear guys no longer drive to the party as Uber has become the real deal. A designate driver is all one needs here and with Sh250, you will be safe home as opposed to the old days when we would drink and drive or order taxis for over Sh1,000,” joked an attendee at the Kulture Lounge party.

He had been away in Dubai for three years and was excited at how the social scene had transformed.

“It is not just about the Uber driver. Have you seen how the roads have changed. I mean, if you drive from a club at night and miss one turn, you will probably find yourself in Naivasha,” responded his Nairobi pal who insisted that the current drink of choice is gin, a pocket-friendly drink that many high spenders scaled down to due to the Covid-19 economic depression.

Those are the kind of stories that dominate the Summer Bunnies party spots.

They will talk about the death of Gengetone, the rise of Amapiano, Bitcoin and M-Pesa, politics and girls, sipangangw’i and kielewekwe…

They will while the night away drinking and making comparisons between the party life in Nairobi and Dallas, the latter being the city where most Kenyan showbiz players operate in the US.

Someone jokes that Summer Bunnies should do their thing and leave us in peace. Here, in January, as the streets have it, earth is hard. It’s a sendoff indeed.