Monthly Archives: May 2012

President Njenga?

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga yesterday alluded to his presidential ambitions and the formation of a new party for the youth early next month.

Speaking at Kwa Mbira grounds during the Limuru 2B meeting that was attended by thousands of youth and a cross-section of leaders in a speech heavily laden with parables, biblical quotes and snippets of Kikuyu culture, Njenga indirectly took battle to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta for the hearts and votes of the youth.

“Some are saying that money can take you to State House. Others are saying education can take you there. I say the secret is God.”

Makadara MP, Mike Mbuvi who had arrived midway through the meeting to a mixed reception from the crowd was booed and jeered off the stage when he declared support for Mr. Kenyatta.

Njenga, who was the last to speak, was clearly the star attraction. His entry to the stage was dramatic. For ten minutes there was mass euphoria. To a man, everyone stood. Chants of Chairman rent the air. Kenyan flags were waved. Guys were screamed.

Then Maina, hands stretched out, intoned, “Bwana Asifiwe!” and the response was electric. He began by speaking of his salvation and of being reformed. Stating that the purpose of the meeting was to combine as Kenyans and finish tribalism, Njenga asked the crowd to join him in burying GEMA and Kamatusa.

Alleging that ten thousand youth were victims of extra-judicial killings, he wondered why MPs from Central Province remained mum on the issue while they had used the youth at one point or another.

Speaking in Kikuyu, he cryptically said, “I started the work in 1987. I have a register for all members. When they joined and when they took the oath. Home secrets are not shared but let them not play with fire. We put them in power, we can eject them too”

Releasing two doves as a signal for peace, the Hope International Church leader stated that from then going forward there was no Mungiki and that all should reform and see the light.

Stating that he had come to give youth hope and inform them that this was God’s time, Njenga declared “I note you have a party but no driver. I can be the captain or driver.”  to a thunderous applause by the crowd.

Earlier a Mr. Wafula Simiyu had spoken of having registered a new party, Kenya Solidarity Network which is to be launched on ninth June at Kamukunji grounds.

He implored the youth to elect a new crop of leaders. Those who can listen without class barriers. Those who espouse the freedoms granted in the new constitution. Those who can bring desired change.

Touching on the International Criminal Court cases he said that he wished ill on no one and that he believed no Kenyans should be jailed outside the country.

Earlier, a cross section of leaders had addressed the charged crowd. They included former legislators Paul Muite and Kalembe Ndile, activists Zekii, Ken Wafula, Hassan Omar, Bob Ndolo, Zarina Patel, Gacheke Gachihi, Rajab Mohammed and Jacob Rotich. Daughter of Freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi, Evelyn also spoke.

Chief guest Rtd Archbishop David Gitari gave the keynote speech. He urged Kenyans to approach the next elections as nationalists not tribalists.

Quoting the Constitution and the Political Parties Act, he condemned parties that are not national in outlook. In reference to GEMA’s meeting last month he asserted, “I do not think people can sit in Limuru and decide who leads a certain community.”

The former prelate said that Exodus 18 should form the template for what kind of leader should be elected. Necessary qualities he said were capability, God-fearing nature, trustworthy and incorruptible. He also called for American-style presidential debates to enable voters interrogate policy and leaders.

Bunge la Mwananchi Chairman Gacheke Gachihi, who was the first to address the crowd, set the tone. Celebrating the reforms in the judiciary and legislature, he regretted that the executive remained in darkness. He asked for the youth to be given a chance as they were armed with ideas.  “If you prevent a peaceful revolution, you incite a violent one but that is not our prayer,” he said.

The meeting began and ended with intonations from a priest from the African Orthodox Church. There was also a rendition of the first stanza of the national anthem.


Of Pancakes, Bunnies and Returnees

How do you fuck up pancakes? That is what is what my boy shouted to their house help after she made pancakes in a way he did not like. The poor house help was mortified while my boy’s brothers could not get what their brother was fussing about.

My boy – B – was born and brought up in the hood. He studied Hotel Management at Kenya Poly and briefly worked at a hotel in Mombasa. Unsatisfied with this job, he quit and started selling second-hand ladies clothes. He would go to Gikomba at the break of dawn, get ‘camera’, and then move from office to office satisfying his clientele’s needs. B was a dandy who also spent most of his evenings at the estate make-shift gym lifting stones to get that six-pack and broad shoulders. Unsure if these were geared to aid his business.

Back then, going to America was the fad. The fabled land of milk and honey and unending dollars was the place to go. After several trials at the unforgiving American embassy in Nairobi, B finally got the much sought after student visa.

Nine years later, B has done what needs to be done and he is the proud holder of an American passport. He can come ‘home’ as often as he pleases and the pancake incident was during his latest visit.

America has happened to B. Apart from demanding pancakes be done in an American way, he also complains of the dust  of Nairobi, talks of Kenya having a smell that he cannot quite figure out what it is and thinks the estate that he lived in contently for twenty three years before moving to America is a slum.

His American accent is pronounced and Kenyan food does not taste as great so take away is what he survives on. His impatience and brashness so normal to Americans is alien to most Kenyans who thus look at him in awe or disgust. His demands of excellence and constant measuring everything to America are vexing to say the least.

B got me thinking about Kenyans in the Diaspora and those who return to Kenya or at least visit. They are the subject of this post. Those who went and got swallowed by the West will be the subject of another blog post.

Bunnies (those who visit either in May – Aug (Summer) – or in December (Winter) briefly) and Returnees (those who have relocated back home permanently) are interesting.

The Bunnies show up into town with their accents and dollars and work at causing a stir. They are loud, flashy spenders out to prove a point. Never mind that they have to hold down three jobs in the States to save the money they blow in less than a month. Kenyan women love them and flings with the bunnies are the norm.

Given the global financial meltdown a reverse migration is happening. Guys are flocking back to Kenya after spending over a decade in the West. These are the returnees. The Returnees are slightly different from the Bunnies.

There is the focussed returnee who had gotten a job before relocating and settles back really fast. Using their made-in-America perspective and confidence they are quick to spot opportunities in Kenya and exploit them. The unfocussed returnee acts like a bunny for a while and as long as they got money, they are assured a passé of hangers on who disappear immediately the money runs out. This returnee then has to adapt to an entirely new environment of real Kenya and I have seeing some descend into alcoholism and depression.

It is the norm to look at these guys as Kenyan in or from the Diaspora and most of the time be perplexed or be put off by their behaviour and mannerisms. However I wonder if as a country we are not looking at this issue the wrong way.

Yes, they can be maddeningly irritating but how about we take the best from them? They have lived and worked in first world countries and thus have a different perspectives and expectations. Can we tap into this?

Imagine if all Kenyans boldly demanded excellent service from everyone instead of meekly accepting crap then complaining? Imagine if Kenyans did not settle for less in matters governance? Imagine if they shared the best practices from the West and Kenya adopted them? Would we not accelerate achievement of Vision 2030?

At the very least we would at least learn how to make ‘American’ pancakes :)!

This is just me thinking aloud.

GOD BLESS KENYA!

 

 


Pub Hawkers

For many who frequent pubs in Nairobi’s Central Business District or in the upmarket areas of Westlands or Hurlingham, the idea of shopping while having a drink is alien to say the least. However for those who enjoy their tipple in neighborhood pubs, popular known as locals, hawkers are a normal occurrence in the pub.

Jean’s Pub, whose mantelpiece shows it was started in 1971, is located in Nairobi West, a suburb ten minutes away from the city center. Nairobi West has gained notoriety as the hub of locals in Nairobi and Jean’s Pub which has been around for forty two years is at its heart.

A cloudy Wednesday afternoon found me sampling the Jean’s Pub experience as I whiled away time awaiting the evening match between AFC Leopards and Sofapaka at Nyayo Stadium which is a stone-throw away from Nairobi West.

Never mind that it was 4pm, on a weekday, the pub already had patrons who in complete disregard of the Mututho law which banned sale of alcohol before 5pm on weekdays, were enjoying their beer. The patrons were a godsend to the many hawkers who made an unending procession into the pub selling all manner of wares. These men and women could comfortably rival Nakumatt supermarket’s tagline of ‘If you need it, we’ve got it.’

The wares available were as varied as the hawkers who sold them: suits, pangas, vehicle signs, phone accessories, stationery, cutlery, blouses, shirts, jackets, sweaters, CDs, DVDs, belts, ties, socks, vests, office shoes, sneakers and belts were on offer.

At first I was irritated by their persistence and presence, however my curiosity got the better of me and I got intrigued. Watching as they interacted with patrons in the pub, I wondered what exactly made them tick and if they made any money for their trouble.

Two ladies – Marion and Fiona – who appeared to be in their mid-twenties and frankly out of place at the local were seated at the table next to me. They were seemingly enjoying themselves and had ordered roast chicken to accompany the drinks they were downing.

The presence of the hawkers irritated them greatly and finally Fiona shouted, “Can’t you see I am here to drink and not to buy your wares? Why are you disturbing us? Let me sing for you then and you see how much you like that!” to a bemused hawker who took it in his stride and moved on to the next table.

Clearly pub hawking is not for the faint-hearted but it did have surprisingly rich rewards as I learnt from Wambui, a socks and vests hawker, who indulged my curiosity after I bought a pair of socks from her.

Wambui, a single mother of two has been hawking in Nairobi West pubs for the last three years and she has no regrets. “I work six days a week and on a good day I make two thousand shillings,” Wambui proudly told me. Noticing my surprise, she further informed me that the hawkers who sold men’s clothes made even more money than she did and contributed Kshs. 1,200 daily to their chama.

She went on to explain that her work day runs from 4pm to 8pm which gives her ample time to take care of her two school-going children and that her choice of socks and vests was inspired by their easy availability in town at convenient hours which dovetails perfectly with her motherhood duties.

In contrast, the clothes hawkers who have to purchase their merchandise from Kenya’s largest secondhand market, Gikomba have to be up at the break of dawn to be able to get the best wares. Their early rising is however compensated by their higher margins as illustrated above.

Challenges that Wambui and the other pub hawkers face are: frequent harassment by the City Council askaris who demand bribes, the enforcement of the Mutotho law which reduces the number of patrons they can sell to and restriction of access to pubs by pub owners.

Nyambura, a waitress at Jean’s Pub explained, “We only allow them to hawk on weekdays as weekend’s it would be chaotic having a full house and then have them walking around.”  She however saluted the hawker’s perseverance and said they provided a timely service to the patrons.

The number of patrons increased and the hawkers continued streaming into the pub. With my recently acquired insight, my perspective had shifted. Rather than viewing them as a pesky interference to my pub time, I now looked at these unassuming men and women – who make more money in a month than an average office worker – as the face of Kenya’s resilient entrepreneurs who are quietly and diligently bettering their lot and by extension that of Kenya.

 

 


Coastal Reflections

Through the four previous posts, I do hope that you vividly experienced my coastal visit.

The title ‘Tembea Coast’ was a play at the Tembea Kenya promotion by Magical Kenya. I sought to see The Coast through the eyes of a mwananchi and thus eschewed all of the fancy tourist-y activities.

Apart from the sight-seeing, frolicking on the beach and club hopping, I also got to see, smell, taste, hear and touch The Coast so to speak. Through these sensory experiences I got fodder for my reflections which I can now confidently share from a position of knowledge.

As a disclaimer, I was only at The Coast for three days, I do not proclaim to ‘know’ or be an expert on the the region and none of my reflections are from a position of malice or superiority.

If cleanliness is next to Godliness then Mombasa is very far away from God or Allah. Mountains of garbage are a permanent eyesore. Blame does not entirely lay with the Council of Mombasa as I did see their workers sweeping the streets but I reckon it is a case of a wrong mindset by the residents and also lack of a structured garbage disposal and collection process by the council. Mombasa is Kenya’s premier tourist city, tourism is a bigger cog in Kenya’s economy, and therefore one would expect a basic thing like cleanliness to be sorted. That it is not is mind-boggling.

The number of mini-vans (Nissans) and Tuk-tuks has increased at a very high rate in Mombasa. The result is a lot of noise on the streets, mega pollution and the bane of all Kenya’s urban areas: traffic. I am not convinced that all those Public Service Vehicles are necessary for the population in Mombasa. It would be prudent to carry out a survey and match vehicles with need before matters get out of hand and Mombasa grinds to a halt due to traffic.

Eating out in Mombasa is quite expensive. A meal sets you back on average two hundred and fifty shillings. If you think solution is fast food then you are wrong as the prices are at least fifty shillings more than in Nairobi. As I was on holiday I had no option but to buy at the exorbitant prices but I wonder how the average salary or wage earner survives. While still on the matter of food, why is there no Nyama Choma place on the island? With the many Kikuyus, you would expect there to be several.

Another curious thing that struck me was the lack of bars on the island. I was informally told that this is as a result of the Mosques that dot the Island which frown at bars been opened near them.

When the conversation of food come up, someone quipped that there is no need to eat out as the Coastal woman is a career wife. Her joy and purpose in life is to cook, clean, look good, bear children and satisfy the man. Women empowerment is yet to take root at the Coast and inasmuch I agree that a woman can chose to be a career wife I also think she should be informed of all the possible options and then make an informed decision. As it is now, it feels like an issue of patriarchal dominance.

The stereotype of the Coastal is the stuff of folklore. Everyone seems to know and believe it. I dare to ask, are we reading them wrong?  I mean these are people who have been there for centuries, they built the Fort Jesus and they traded with the Chinese before it became cool to look East. So just maybe, just maybe, there is more to them than the stereotype proclaims.

Having said that, I must say that having gone to Likoni and all the areas I passed through before getting to Diani I reckon there is need for a mind shift by the Coastals. How one sits on empty fallow land and not think to farm it is beyond me.

Speaking of land, the common narrative that permeates this issue is that of land grabbed, people been squatters in their ancestral land and utter marginalization. The story is not entirely black and white. I heard of stories of men who have three wives, fifteen children and they still wish to sell off their land. Also of folk who sold beach front land cheaply decades ago to wabara and now they are angry at the wabara who are making millions out of the land.  Title was also another issue that stood up. Apparently title deeds are not issued always and what people have are gentleman’s agreements. X sold land Y to Z. What happens if X later says he did not? How much does this affect investments?

Mombasa Republican Council has made the news in the recent past. Before I went to The Coast I thought them to be rebels without a cause and folk who were misguided. I have since gotten enlightened. I do not for a minute support their session plans but I reckon they do have reason to be upset.

A man without a purpose is a dead man. The indigenes at The Coast had been reduced to men without purpose and thus when someone comes with a cause they will believe in it to the core. That is the essence of MRC. It has given the folk something to believe in forget whether that something is good or even right. I heard stories of guys who wake up, cross over from Likoni, spend the day at the Mombasa courts where MRC has two cases pending and then go back home in the evening. That is how much they believe in their cause. At this point law and government declarations mean little to these folk and thus I reckon the government has to be clever in how to deal with this ticking time bomb.

Coupled with the MRC issue I felt an undercurrent of guys been angry or tired with guys from upcountry majority of who are Kikuyu. Case in point, all the matatus I used had at least either driver or conductor been Kikuyu. My pal who went there three years ago now has fifteen MPesa shops. He is Kikuyu. I saw a Rongai Pub, a Thika pub and other Kikuyu named businesses.

Yes, one can argue that it’s a free country but put yourself in the shoes of the locals and then throw in propaganda and brainwashing and imagine the negative reaction. It is scary to imagine what the general election madness will add to this uneasy calm. Folk I spoke too already say they do not plan to be at The Coast during the elections.

Two issues which disturb me have happened since I left Mombasa: Pastors killed in unclear circumstances in Mombasa and Electoral commission offices raided in Mombasa.

Are they related?

This is a ticking time bomb that urgently needs to be addressed. Who will is the question.

GOD BLESS KENYA!

 


Tembea Coast – 4

Either I was too tired from the previous day’s excursions or I was just lucky but I managed to sleep through the Muezzin’s call on Sunday morning and get a full night of rest.

Sunday was the final day of my trip to the Coast and I had been invited to church by a friend who was also was to be my guide for a trip back in time in the picturesque Old Town.

Although I preferred walking and I had never ridden in a tuk-tuk before, to save time I opted to do as the Coastals and grab a tuk-tuk to the bus station to book my ticket back to Nairobi and also to church.

Church was at ICC Mombasa which is located just opposite Tusky’s Bandarini. The service was awesome and the message timely. Pastor Edward Munene was just concluding the April series ‘Rewind’ and the following was my take home from the sermon:

1. It is the road you take not the plans you make that matter.

2. It is your actions today not your intentions that affect your tomorrow.

3. You may not be able to go back and make a brand new start BUT it is possible make a brand new end.

4. To take the right path: do not follow your heart, be prepared to change and stay away from excuses.

After service my pal and I spent six hours in Old Town. She is a Coastal and she knows Old Town inside out. She gave me the insider’s tour but I had to promise her not to tweet or blog about the non-tourist places she took me so as to ensure they remain homely and not crowded.

Highlights of the Old Town walkabout were, drinking the sweetest sugarcane juice made on the streets, sharing a wonderful conversation with my pal at the sea front next to Fort Jesus, drinking iced coffee inside one of the houses of Old Town (my highlight!), eating Mishikaki sold on the streets, just absorbing the atmosphere as the families went about their business as families have done for centuries in the same place and finally enjoying ice-cream at one of the ice-cream parlors.

It was a wonderful and priceless experience.

After parting ways with my pal, I made my way to Mwembe Tayari and caught the 10.30pm bus to Nairobi. The journey back was a repeat of what I described in Tembea Coast 1. Another heart-in-the-mouth-no-sleep night due to the Mash Bus driver. Unless as a last resort I shall not use Mash Bus again.

Finally we got to Nairobi safely and the cold weather shocked my body back to the reality of day-to-day grind.

I am so glad I visited the Coast and enjoyed the priceless moments. Here is to more traveling!

GOD BLESS KENYA!


Tembea Coast – 3

I was woken up by a Muezzin at 4.45am on a Saturday morning. Since I was on holiday I was not amused but that is the peril of lodging next to a mosque.

Try as I might I could not seem to be able to go back to sleep so I finally got out of bed and spent a couple of hours reflecting on my life. Very fruitful that was. So in retrospect, thank you Mr. Muezzin.

When I was done reflecting I left the hotel room and took a matatu to the ferry. I was in luck since folk were just boarding and I did not have to wait for long. Ever since the Mtongwe ferry accident I always have jitters when crossing over with the ferry. I was pleased to note that the new ferries take half the time to get across (7min) and there is still no charge to the passengers. Jitters aside the journey across is pretty scenic and I also got to marvel at a big ship.

Getting off the ferry I walked through a very boisterous market with vendors calling out loudly for customers for all the  manner of foodstuffs that were laid out tantalizingly. It was quite a sensory experience.

My destination was Diani beach but as since I was in Likoni I was curious to see more about it so I walked around and got the vibe of the place. Remember that Likoni was the scene of the 1997 elections violence and also this is the home of many of the MRC cadre.

I was shocked by the abject poverty that hit me bang in my face everywhere I looked and walked. I lack words to express it so I will just say that Likoni is very very run down. It was in Likoni that I saw my first ‘Pwani si Kenya’ graffiti live and that sent a shiver down my spine.

After my sobering walkabout Likoni I took a matatu to Ukunda. The journey from Likoni to Ukunda was a transition from bad to worse. The abject poverty continued being evident with run down houses, half built houses and uncultivated land dotting both sides of the road.

Getting to Ukunda, the transformation was amazing. Ukunda is the gateway into Diani and one notices the difference immediately. The abject poverty is replaced by a semblance of normality which I guess serves to prepare one for Diani.

I took a matatu from Ukunda to Diani and I asked to alight at the beach. I had never been here before but this been the coast there was actually a stage named Beachi!

The drive from Ukunda to Diani revealed the obscene wealth that is in Diani. Private villas and exclusive hotels that dot the roadside tell you that this is rich man territory. I was  surprised to find a Nakumatt Diani. Nakumatt is EVERYWHERE!

When I alighted at Beachi I could not see any beach in the vicinity. So I sat at the pub that was right where I alighted and watched the start of a wedding between a Kenyan woman and European man. Before I could order a drink I noticed a Maasai man walking on the roadside then disappearing. Something told me that was the way to the beach that I was looking for. I followed him quickly and by jove it was! Finally after a couple of days at the coast, I was on a beach.

I ordered a beer and just appreciated the ocean. There is something about the endlessness of it that is enthralling and that makes one stare at it for hours on end. I would have kept staring at the ocean were it not for a group of young boys who were splashing and swimming and seemingly having so much fun. They motivated me to chuck my sneakers, leave them at the banda with the bartender and just walk the beach.

Upon getting to the beach I could have gone either left or right. On a whim I chose left and that turned out to be a brilliant decision.

I walked for roughly half an hour and randomly found myself at Forty Thieves which I had heard so much about. I was barefoot but could not resist walking in. I then saw a sign for Ali Barbour Cave and I just had to get in there. I asked for directions and the folks told me that it opened at 7pm and one needed three day advance booking to get a dinner reservation. I explained that I just wanted to see the inside and finally they let me in.

Let me draw you the picture, I am barefoot, I am at Ali Barbour Cave, I am all excited! I was like a kid in a candy shop. They had laid out the china for dinner and the cave was all lit up. It was magical! Totally awesome moment this was and it was even more exciting because of the spontaneity of it.

Got back to Forty Thieves and had a drink as I chatted with Mwanza who has worked there for three years. He was very proud of the fact that they never have high or low season as all year round they had clientele and the staff worked two shifts (7am-7pm and 7pm-7am).

Still giddy with excitement I started my walk back to the banda so as to collect my sneakers. I was practically singing and dancing and enjoying water lapping at my feet as the tide ebbed and flowed. I could have been acting out a ‘Life’s good’ advert!

Got back to the banda, picked my shoes then struck up a conversation with the bartender. He told me that the bandas and the live band by the ocean were a Kim4Love venture. He also informed me that the buildings that were run down were originally part of the Two Fishes Hotel that burned down awhile back.

By the time I got back to the roadside it had already gotten dark and the wedding was just wrapping up. Scents of pilau wafted through the air but since I anxious about getting back to Mombasa I passed up the opportunity to gatecrash a Coastal wedding and enjoy the delicacies.

Crossed over to Island on the ferry in the dark and it was nice to see the lit up night view of Mombasa.

Dinner, shower and drinks in that order were then enjoyed to crown a very wonderful day at the Coast.

To be continued..

GOD BLESS KENYA!


Tembea Coast – 2

My sleep was blissful and after five hours I woke up feeling very refreshed. I enjoyed a leisurely shower and went off in search of lunch. I settled for Aisha’s restaurant on Moi Avenue where I enjoyed a sumptuous meal of Biriani Beef and maji ya chungwa.

As my time was my own and the theme of the trip was “on a whim”, I randomly took a matatu to Mtwapa. One and a half decades ago I would spend some of my school holidays in Kiembeni and it was refreshing to pass by all the familiar places on North Coast. From Lights, King’orani, Tudor all the way up to Bombululu and Bamburi. The melodic conductors’ calling out to passengers was like music to my years.

The scenic drive was however rudely disrupted just after Shanzu College when the matatu driver had to swerve and brake suddenly to avoid hitting a nonchalant Swahili woman. It was the classic case of kill one to save many or kill many to save one and although it happened in a blink of an eye it was pretty scary. Luckily the driver managed to neither run over the woman nor lose control of the matatu.

After that scare we got to Mtwapa thankful to be alive. I walked into a Tusky’s to buy water and here I stumbled on “Wambui”. She was infront of me on the check-out counter and she had shopped for breakfast never mind it was early afternoon. Sausages, juice, bacon, bread and eggs were what had filled her shopping basket. She was very well put together and the curious man that I am I offered to carry her groceries for a chance at a conversation.

I walked her to her car which was not a Vitz and she briefly opened up about her life. She had been in Mtwapa for ten years hustling for a rich old white man and had only recently hit the jackpot. She was now the proud owner of a house, a car and seemingly had her life headed in the right direction.

After “Wambui” drove off, I walked around Mtwapa. There is a lot of construction going on and new buildings have sprung up all over. Unfortunately there did not appear to be any plan to the haphazard construction.

I also hang out or rather sat next to a group of young guys who were passing time playing board games and chewing miraa.  The common feature amongst them was dreadlocks. Their conversation centered on landing an old white lady who would then transform their lives. Tales of folk who had succeeded and were now in foreign countries were told and it was clear to me that this was for all intents and purposes a career talk meeting. Never mind what the career was.

My walking around was making me thirsty and thus I looked for a pub to quench my thirst. I stumbled on Banhof which is a German-named pub run by Englishmen. The clientele was old very suntanned and obviously European men who spoke Kiswahili more fluently than most folk I know and a bunch of working girls who were doing all they could to attract the attention of the white men. The language of choice for the girls was Kikuyu and I could not help overhearing the gory recollection of their escapades the previous night. The desperation of these working girls was saddening but I reckoned when they looked at “Wambui” they convinced themselves that after kissing many frogs one of the frogs would turn to a prince and they would live like queens thereafter.

I also checked out the famous Club Lambada and Causurina but they were not yet kicking. At Lambada I sat at the counter and as I nursed my drink there were two Kikuyu men talking about buying land in Mtwapa. That felt very random! The bartender was also Kikuyu and the waiters were also Kikuyu.

Clearly Mtwapa has a high concentration of Kikuyus. From my observation, Mtwapa is also clearly a big destination for sex tourism and it does live up to its sin city tag.

Having had enough of Mtwapa, I took a matatu to the Nyali mall. When I was last in Mombasa, Nyali mall had not been built. Thus I reckoned it was worth a visit. It is bourgie-central and very much like Nairobi bourgie malls. Imagine my laughter when I saw Nairobi Sports House signage! There is also a Basic Intimates shop that had on the display a cow-girl outfit. Yes, Mombasa has got game like that!

On the third floor of Nyali Mall is Sheba Lounge which is an Ethiopian restaurant-cafe-pub. Its decor which is a mix of traditional and modern is quite lovely. I love Ethiopian coffee and I had several cups. The beautiful Ethiopian girls made me stay on and on and on.

I got back to town and enjoyed another lovely meal this time at Little Chef on Digo Road. It took twenty minutes after placing my order for the Pilau Mutton to get to my table but it was certainly worth the wait as it was finger-licking good.

After a shower and change of clothes, I was ready to hit the clubs. I went to Bella Vista which kind of reminded me of Rezourus in Westlands.  The patrons were clearly non-coastals. If I was to hazard a guess I would have said these are folk who were from Nairobi and now happened to live in Mombasa. The first DJ did a terrific disco set which made me very happy. Then to my surprise DJ Kaytrix from Nairobi checked in and rocked the crowd. The place was by now packed to the rafters.

On my way back to my hotel I briefly passed through Casablanca Night Club. This place can make even the most jaded of people blush.  There are no words to describe this night club. You have to see what happens to believe what happens.

My walk down Moi Avenue and Digo Road at the wee hours of the night revealed that the flesh trade is booming in Mombasa. I saw so many girls walking the streets with the police not disturbing them. I even saw a buibui clad working girl for the first time and that really threw me off. My two cents on that is do your business but do not disrespect the buibui but I guess to each their own.

After very insightful and entertaining day, I deservedly slept.

To be continued..

GOD BLESS KENYA!


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