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September 19, 2018

Erratic Rainfall Driving Nairobians Crazy

Hotel Central, Downtown Nairobi
Hotel Central, Downtown Nairobi

It started innocently enough. The extremely attractive weather girls on some of the TV stations had predicted a bright sunny Monday. Folks were consequently reminded to put on light clothing to mitigate the warm weather.

Unfortunately, things changed and on Monday morning, Nairobi experienced a downpour that had not been seen for a while. Some folks in their shock, I can only assume, made a quick decision that Nairobi was finally witnessing the onset of short rains in the country.

For those who might have forgotten, rains in the country used to strike like clockwork. The long rains would come earlier in the year around March to April and the short rains in September and October. Sadly, these predictable weather patterns went the way of the dodo as the seasons changed allegedly because of global warming.

In a normal society, a major downpour would be taken in stride with folks laughing off the wet conditions, but ours is no normal society. This is Nairobi, where rain water is feared more than acid attacks or onrushing cars.

A week characterised by heavy rain leaves this city in gridlock especially in the evening when everyone decides to go home in a rush, creating drama everywhere. That is a normal rainy period.

However, Kenya is nowadays a very different animal. This is seen through the way we treat others when we feel offended. In one part of the country, a young man cut off the hands of his form two girlfriend he suspected of cheating on him.

In another part of the country, it is alleged that children poisoned their mother over inheritance. The anger in our society is quite strong and with the onset of the rains, I expect to see vengeful reactions from members of our society.

It would start with the activists. They would want to justify why the NGO bill should be shelved so that several of them can chain themselves at the gate of the meteorological department in Nairobi.

They would also be complaining about how unfair the department is for failing to predict weather patterns which infringe on their rights. Kenyans would argue that poor weather prediction infringes on their rights since they cannot plan.

The police already have a lot to deal with thus they won't have time to address wrangles between the public and meteorological department. As the activists contend with the effects of having to each take away fries and chips (they are more used to finer dining) and being rained on, they would eventually unchain themselves.

They would also have been convinced that a wiser action would be to seek assistance from savvy lawyers who salivate at free money when they see it.

The presiding judge would classify the case as urgent as it is not known when the changes in weather patterns would stabilise. This will lead to a phenomenal case that would pit farmers against urban residents.

The former would be advocating for more rains while the latter would suggest that they do not need rain in the urban areas. The main religious bodies would also want to be enjoined in the case on grounds that they are closer to the divine being who distributes rainfall.

These religious groups would raise their own issues. While some will work together, other extreme Christian groups for instance would complain that they won't work with Muslims. Eventually, they would strike an agreement to table a unified case to the government.

With the involvement of religious groups, you can be sure that others in this field will see an opportunity to earn quick cash. Thus, when you see those posters in town by “DR MAJID MUSA FROM PEMBA,” you can be sure that 'lack of rain' would join the usual staples of joblessness, impotence, childlessness and problems of getting a husband among others.

The financially able ones will buy space in your local newspapers with messages like “Sharon of daffodil urges you to contact Dr Majid if you have problems with too much or too little rain. Visit him and like me, you will know how many millilitres will come your way and why the amount.”

Other entrepreneurs will rush to this space to get their share. Within days, you will see promotions in town urging you to 'SMS RAIN to 1234 or NO RAIN' to the same number for your rain requirements. So, we can only hope that the madness from little rain in November will not affect us.

 

 

Venue Review

Hotel Central, Downtown Nairobi

The experience could only be considered surprising. I walked into the washroom of Hotel Central, in dark downtown Nairobi, and what accosted me was not the usual smell one expects from that part of town. What got me was a pleasant fragrance wafting from the place.

This was quite appealing. I had been told about this place by some people who consider themselves the true consultants on drinking in the central business district.

After tracing this place with difficulties (I was given different directions such as- the place was next to Tuskys behind Ronald Ngala Street), I finally made my way into the venue.

The wheelchair bound or an infirm would not like this place since one has to climb one flight of stairs to get to the place where people enjoy themselves. Once you get to the place, you find a large establishment.

By the main entrance, there is a counter, which I ignored and dashed to the washrooms at the back. They turned out to be among the better ones in town.

I eventually made my way back to the counter where a TV was screening a match featuring England football team Chelsea as it tried to put a hapless side to the sword. Those sports junkies among us would love the fact that they can watch their sport here.

My cold beer from the very friendly barman came at the price of Sh180. This finally kills the Sh110/120 cold beer in Nairobi forever as far as I am concerned.

It's amazing to imagine that once upon a time, buying beer in this town for Sh100 was something reserved for the well off. This was not more than a decade ago. It was great when it lasted, I assure you.

Across the counter, a dazzling young woman who was dressed to kill reminded me of Tusker Project Fame presenter Sheila Mwanyigha. She was holding one seat with her leg, as she tried to look nonchalant, obviously waiting for a guest who eventually showed up.

The crowd was a mixture of people from both sexes who seemed to be beyond their twenties. Standing near the wall facing the street, one could look over and see the city as it went around its merry way.

 

Good

 Great service, decent décor, outstanding washrooms, TV for sports fanatics.

 

Bad

 No disability access, hard to find.

 

My verdict

 The location will make you make a wrong assumption, but it's one of the better places to have a drink in town.

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