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When the bar is your home- How coronavirus has shut down city night life

By Beldeen Waliaula | March 28th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

The declaration of curfew and an earlier ban on operation of pubs and entertainment joints to curb the spread of coronavirus has shut down Nairobi’s night life.

Before the curfew started last night, Nairobi city had already turned into a ghost town.

However, Kenyans who have made alcohol part of their diet are forming drinking joints in estates. James Onyango, a resident of Embakasi and his friends decided on a place to be meeting everything to have a drink.

“I work from home and its very tiring. I feel like a refugee in the house as I am not used to being at home for many hours. Since bars are not open, we buy drinks during the day from a friend who owns a pub,” Onyango says.

He craves human interaction. Ordinarily, he would meet different people in the bar, which was fun, he says, compared to drinking just in the neighbourhood.

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David Maina, who owns two clubs in the city, says he has suffered losses and was arrested for failing to follow rules on social distancing.

Customers, who wanted to buy drinks to take home, had crowded the entrance of his business premises. 

“Government should also recognise nightlife is a livelihood for many people. It’s my sole source of income. I have cashiers and bar attendants to pay. I have closed my business, so how do I pay them and I can’t fire them.”

A sex worker says she is surviving from hand to mouth. She had not prepared for the pandemic and the number of clients has dropped.

kenya curfew Coronavirus kenya Nairobi nightlife
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