Eight years, since its establishment Meladen Lounge situated in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area has become a refurbished entertainment and food hot spot.
As a child, Dr Pamela Olet had a dream of establishing a platform that would help nurture, promote and empower local musicians with the aim of making sure they become independent in the future.
After many years of hard work, visualization and never giving up, her dream was finally realized.
In 2010 she established Meladen Lounge from the then defunct Hill Breeze club situated within Nairobi community area in Upper Hill.
Although her initial focus was to provide lunch for various offices within the area, something she did successfully for a period of three years, deep down, she felt an urge to go beyond in addressing urban poverty through her newly found institution.
A year later Dr Pamela decided to expand her institution which solely comprised a restaurant into an entertainment joint and a traditionally made makuti den. The latter specializes in hosting private functions including Sacco meetings, office, birthday and wedding parties et al.
“My aim was to come up with a podium that would be of great benefit both to our clients and musicians. The fact that for long our musicians were not taken seriously owing to the misguided notion that music was a profession for hooligans made me want to change this mentality by empowering them and making sure they become respectable people in the future,” says Pamela, who recalls going through several challenges at the initial stages of her project but managed to overcome.
To prove her intent she initiated Bana Mela Foundation that has a recording studio purposely for nurturing local musicians. She also introduced them to small scale organizations and made sure were given free medical cover.
Located at Upper Hill, Chyulu Road next to National Library behind Capital Hill Square Police Station getting to Meladen is as easy as a piece of cake.
It takes about five minutes for one to get there if driving from Nairobi’s CBD without traffic jam.
As you get to the club entrance there is a huge white signboard with the clubs name inscribed in it which welcomes you inside the premises.
Once inside, you will notice the venue is a sight to behold as you will be greeted by classy interiors, and for the exterior, an open kitchen facing an outside area.
With a capacity of 500 sittings the club has a private lounge area with very comfortable sitting for the ones that want to enjoy the high life and party in style.
For smokers there are attractive sections where they can use throughout the night.
The state of the art screens from corner to corner which displays different programs from live video music churned out by the resident deejay ranging from Rumba, Lingala and Luo hits not to mention local happenings and latest international football is an added advantage.
Another center of attraction is the wide stage comprising unique set of musical equipment’s used by various renowned musicians known to alternate every other weekend guarantees revelers maximum and distinctively unique entertainment in the night.
And for the bottle service groups, a designated waiter in hand to attend to your every need.
Affordable food and drinks:
Meladen will easily pass as one of the cheapest places in Nairobi in terms of food and drinks. With as little as Sh500 you are bound to eat to your fill. However, the prices vary for a club that offers all categories of food.
Drinks such as beers are even much cheaper costing Sh180 and 250. Classic wine and whisky range between Sh900 and Sh4000. Also available are energy drinks, bottled water, soft drinks and juices.
Known to have nurtured and mentored several musicians among them the late Musa Juma, Jamnazi Africa, Madanji Perimeter, Osito Kalle, John Junior, Lady Maureen, Osogo Winyo, Prince Indah, Emma Jalamo, Musa Jakadala, Jipanoran, Opiyo Jarumba, Ali Pesa, Steve Kabarry and Benta Nyar Koyugi (the latter currently based in the US) Meladen prides of being one of the exclusive clubs in Nairobi known to offer quality live band music ranging from local Luo Benga, Rumba, Ohangla and Lingala hit songs with the aim to bring a feel of exquisite nightlife to Kenya.
“I am glad that all the musicians who started out at my club have established themselves in life becoming their own leaders, business people and employers,” says Dr Pamela, who is also the current chair lady of international artists promoters in the country – an organization which brings international musicians in the country.
With plans of hosting Congolese sensation Ferre Gola for the second time soon, Pamela cites some of the International musicians who have performed at the club as Mbilia Bel, Adolphe Dominguez of Wenge Tonya Tonya, Fally Ipupa, Ferre Gola, Koffi Olomide and General Defao.
Named after its owner Pamela - short form of her name Mela and Den the club with an upbeat atmosphere and a fun crowd dares to challenge the local entertainment trend.
Although there is so much that can be said about the club but generally, it offers a nice ambience after long day’s work
Unique features about the club:
· Beefed up security at the parking and within the club with 24 hour CCTV surveillance.
· Good quality sounds for event and album launching.
· Conference hall with good ventilation.
· Good hygiene (in particular the toilets) with well -trained waiters with high level of discipline.
· Good garden for outside parties.
· Effective management in case of any problem they will solve it instantly.
· Good car wash.