What are the three words that you would use to describe Nairobi’s Nightlife?
I’d go with;
Warm beers. Squeezed urinals. Expensive whiskeys and cocktails.
Actually, a poem will do:
“Perky and not-so-perky waitresses in too brief skirts
Balancing their asses and glasses as drunken eyes devour
cleavages and drinks on trays
bad tasting Tuskers and Black Labels bought for show off
Ending up in lays in roach-laden sitters in Roysambu and Zimmerman”
Whether you like it or not, as long as you are a middle-class-upcoming-man who loves a pint, who is looking to have good days of his youth and who walks to an office every day, you will definitely find yourself in good company on a Friday inside the CBD.
Perhaps you will only have a few shillings in your pocket and you will need to move two steps from your girl to consult your boys on their pocket status (and end up getting surprised where your formerly broke boys boy suddenly have money after the fourth beer). What is certain is that you guys will end up in some joint within the 200 metres radius of the Dedan Kimathi Statue.
If Kenya was a good country we would have ethnic coexistence where we would ferry women from Nyeri to Garissa for one-month cooking benchmarking, take a group of women from Kwale to Murang’a for ABCD of starting a business and have Luo women take a lesson from their Kamba counterparts on how to keep a man.
This happened to me and my boys last week. We started out on our own, five men aged between 23 and 29 at Tanager Restaurant where we cleared mountains of Aleso (that spiced Somali-Swahili dish that invariably shames Kikuyu women; asking, what went wrong with their cooking. I always tell them that this thing is ancestral and genetical). And I am not taking a dig at them, I am not trying to be tribal, but, walk into any restaurant with a green front color in Nairobi and you will agree with me that the only thing that goes down your throat comfortably is the green paste they call Mukimo.
If Kenya was a good country we would have ethnic coexistence where we would ferry women from Nyeri to Garissa for one-month cooking benchmarking, take a group of women from Kwale to Murang’a for ABCD of starting a business and have Luo women take a lesson from their Kamba counterparts on how to keep a man. But we are divided to the core, something that has left us persevering through harsh meal times where Sukuma Wiki is served with pieces of Tomatoes staring at you, 10% cooked, or is it 90% uncooked? It actually feels very bad that a food dungeon in Malindi has better dishes than a five-star eating restaurant in Karatina, Nanyuki, and Meru combined. Oh, that was some digress, I am sorry for veering off.
We were at the point where five boys were full of Aleso and the city clock showed 7:00 p.m. None of us is married because the goal posts for marriage have been shifted from 28 to 35 years for men, and, except for the boychild El Presidente who claims that ladies expire at 27, everyone else knows that it is okay to be a lady aged 32 years, single and just getting started.
Boys can really get mean in the absence of ladies so after many consultations we found ourselves in Club Geo on Tom Mboya, a joint that is nowhere yet everywhere, with a manager who thinks that his sales will skyrocket if the girls serving drinks wear things shorter than Raila’s swearing ceremony.
Long story short, a lady joined us some minutes to 9.00 pm, and the standards changed instantly. We had to upgrade by moving closer to town, and safety, you know.
At the command of the lady’s host, we strolled across to Sixty-Four, the Corner House-based club that back in the day was called Bettyz. Opposite is the recently cremated Gravity (most likely giving way to a Somali restaurant or the more ubiquitous stalls, really sucks). Field Marshal Dedan Kimathis stands outside majestically, watching over you enjoying the freedom he fought for. Club Sixty-Four is still part of Highland restaurant, whose best days are in the past, because a waitress, sweet Penina found greener pastures (as if anything can get greener than the interior of Highlands).
I don’t know the relationship that the owner of Club Sixty-Four has with God, or more correctly, with the Church, but it struck me that the club has employed ushers, like your regular church business. Within minutes of getting settled at an elevated corner of the club, we agreed that we’d readily compete for the job of “usher-recruiter” because the girls doing that job were so fine we didn’t know what to do. And when I talk about fine girls, I am not thinking about big assets, I am talking about girls whose legs emit light. The place above their knees is LED and once you walk into Sixty-Four through the long corridor your path is illuminated by their legs, and the same time, your goose gets cooked. And this is not a goose and gander story.
It is a good club.
But the DJ.
The DJ plays music as if he is looking to impress, repeating Big Shaq seven times inside thirty minutes and shouting into the microphone every 0.15 seconds. He does not know the difference between Rock n Roll (or more correctly, Alternative Rock) and Soul music. It will not surprise you to hear Eddy Grant or Kool n The Gang blow the airwaves at the heels of Leonard Cohen or Swedish Mafia sing after Cardie B, that Hip-Hop sensation whose best artistic contribution came in the redo of Bruno Mars’ Finesse.
And DJs in Kenya need to know that there is more to reggae music than Red Fox & Screechy Dan’s Skylarking and Bob Marley’s Iron Lion Zion. Talking about Skylarking, I still find myself attracted to the original version sang by Horace Andy in 1972 and produced by Studio One records. The 1970’s were a musical heaven. When I recently checked out on Horace Andy I found out that he’s still in the business and he released an album in 2010 featuring the iconic Dean Fraser on Saxophone and Leroy Wallace, the man who did drums for Gregory Isaacs and Burning Spear.
Sixty-Four has a great club feeling thanks to the man who took over after its older version, Bettyz, developed wrinkles and unbearable stretchmarks on her ass. It gets crowded, and that is always the Point. Of. A. Club.
Please note that I am not asking DJs to play Satta Masagana by the Abyssinians or Chatty Chatty Mouth by The Gladiators but for helluva sake, you have a whole week to research and come up with a good playlist. We love Migos, yes, and their shallowness and we know that you do not need to force Kendrick Lamar into the club playlist (because that man is deep, man, that man is heavy), but Hip-Hop has some great club bangers that can get the girls to scream. Because, DJs, we know that it is all about the girls.
Sixty-Four has effective service team. 10/10.
Sixty-Four has a great club feeling thanks to the man who took over after its older version, Bettyz, developed wrinkles and unbearable stretchmarks on her ass. It gets crowded, and that is always the Point. Of. A. Club. Grab your drink and sing loudly in a loud place such that you don’t even hear your own bad voice.By shifting from the red-lighting to the sparkling blue and the white-chairs, the place has a minty feel.
Talking about drinks, Tusker goes for Kes. 250, the new standard price for beer in Kenya and the management would do with extra coolers. Beer should never come to the table warm. Or worse, lukewarm.
A good man deserves a good drink.