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Wakifunga, tunafungua

By Sheila Kimani | Sep 18th 2020 | 6 min read

In less than two weeks, we have witnessed President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga pull in mega crowds across the country. In Githurai, Kisii and Taita Taveta, the leaders have addressed mammoth crowds, contravening rules made by the government in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. Add the other key players jostling for front-page coverage, and it’s safe to say the campaign period is on.

“Naona hizi Covid rules nikama nizakusnishika tu. Hata siskii vibaya,” Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja sarcastically tweeted, attaching photos of the top three doing campaigns.

Is it time that bars, concerts and other showbiz events were also operational? Is it also time for the Kenya Police to ease off harassing patrons trying to mingle just as the political class do?

After months of staying at home due to the pandemic, many can’t wait to get back to the good old days when clubs were open 24/7 and weekends presented the best opportunities for people to link up, banter and drink away.

So pressed are the patrons that covert social gatherings have been set up just so people can link up to drink up. Last weekend saw one of the brunch gatherings set up by Milan Lounge dismantled as police showed up at the scene.

As it were, Milan Lounge management decided that since they could no longer host brunches at their establishment, perhaps they could do it at one of the gardens in Nairobi in the pretext of a small social gathering.

DNM Park in Garden Estate, which also serves as a wedding ground, was their location of choice and of course party lovers showed up dressed to their nines, ready for a fun afternoon. One could have easily assumed that it was a wedding, but the noise and drinks lined up on tables gave it away.

Worse still, DNM has a very small parking space, which forced the party attendees to park outside the gardens, along Garden Estate road, an inconvenience to the neighbours, thus the raid. Needless to say, people didn’t have their masks on!

‘You can gerrit, I can gerrit’ has now simply become a quote that people refer to at their convenience!

Unfortunately, such scenarios play out across Kenya every weekend, the only difference is in the number of people at the gathering and how they choose to conduct themselves.

What started as a lockdown of Nairobi city for one month spilled down to a partial lockdown and to this day, bars are closed. Selling or drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited, with this ‘offence’ carrying with it fines of at least Sh20,000. For this reason, people have resorted to getting liquor delivered and hosting parties at home.

Such parties were so rampant at the beginning of curfews and this saw prominent personalities arrested for gathering past curfew hours. This included Senator Sakaja, whose arrest was made after he was caught drinking in one of the lounges on Dennis Pritt road past curfew hours. To think that he had been put on the Covid frontline committee yet he was flouting the same rules he was supposed to uphold was unbelievable!

During a time when Kenyans were coughing onto their elbows and sanitising 20 times a day, how could they let him getaway? How could a leader put up such a display? Consequently, Sakaja came out to apologise for his conduct and even resigned from his position on the Covid committee.

Yet another issue that caused outcry was of the teenagers who were shipped from a party way past curfew hours in an ambulance. So unremorseful were these teens that they recorded their trip while inside the ambulance and even pretended to use resuscitation devices that were meant for Covid patients. Outcry by the citizenry led to one of the managers’ resignation as people wondered how patients were struggling to get medical care yet an ambulance was out there playing ‘Uber for stupid teens’. 

Former Kiss FM presenter Andrew Kibe must have thought he was quite the celebrity until policemen raided his Hurlingham drinking den in broad daylight. As it were, Kibe and his group of friends had made it a habit to constantly link up at Tamasha because staying at home was too much for them. While they had been guaranteed security, their luck fell short when policemen brought in a lorry to take in all those that were drinking and not adhering to the social distancing rules. Kibe filmed the whole fiasco, even cursing at the policemen who were just there to enforce the social distance requirements. Thanks to the corrupt society that ours is, Kibe and his friends were forced to pay a bribe so they could be released.

Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe was also once asked about his son Kahu$h, who had posted photos while out with his friends at a party past curfew hours. The CS responded that his son was a ‘grown man’. Surely! If the Cabinet Secretary’s son cannot model what his father is constantly preaching on those Covid updates, what stops other party lovers from hosting their turn-ups as well?

Ultimately, clubs have been under pressure to provide covert drinking options to their patrons, with some even locking drinkers inside their establishments. Here are other measures are taken in a desperate attempt to avoid the long arm of the law while keeping drunkards happy.

Locking in party lovers

“Who said we can’t party? What if we lock ourselves in,” one patron had asked after the president made his speech, calling for clubs and drinking dens to be locked. Perhaps this served as inspiration for many clubs and bars, which started locking their patrons inside their establishments so that anyone that looked from the outside in could not imagine that people were onside drinking.

So bad were these tactics that some establishments locked their patrons in and turned off the lights, leaving drinkers to sip away in darkness! Talk about ‘love for the bottle’. 

From bars to liquor delivery services

Log onto your delivery apps and you might just see your favourite bar listed up, with your favourite drinks ready for you to ‘add to cart’! Most bars chose this route as it granted them an opportunity to dispose of their liquor stock while serving their patrons. If you are lucky, the drinks are listed at local rates and not the exorbitant prices that are often given at nightclubs.

Serving drinks in coffee cups

If ever you are lucky to find yourself in an establishment that covertly sells alcohol due to the rules, don’t expect flashy fireworks and skimpy waitresses to serve you! No! That is all in the past! All you can get is your whisky in a thermos flask! Remember how that was just used for hot water? The whisky has fast replaced hot water.

For the beer lovers, it comes served up in a coffee cup! Men could even be drinking Snapp beer and no one will notice thanks to those coffee cups. Matter of fact, people will assume that you are just sipping your evening tea.

Most recently, BBI rallies seem to be creeping back to action, causing an outcry in the showbiz industry circles where celebrities still want to make their money. Perhaps the president should finally lift all these restrictions after all!

“Rada Safi Sana, it seems The Country Has Finally been Re-opened Thank You Mr President We will ensure that We follow The guidelines, Meanwhile above are pictures of The 1st Social Gathering

Activities happening across The country Where do You want To See me perform 1st? Nairobi?” Khaligraph Jones said on Instagram while urging celebrities to get back in action.


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