Being alive in a new year is not something to be sniffed at as not everyone gets to cross over. Last year had so much drama and loss of life in so many avenues; road accidents, illness and football suicides so one needs to be grateful that they are still alive in 2014. As they say, as long as you are alive, you still have a chance to make a mark in life.
Since 2014 is upon us, it’s only fair that we do the same thing that everyone around world does; looking forward and resolving to stop bad habits and start doing new grand things. This is the only time of the year when every citizen is allowed to dream big before reality checks in and you find yourself in the pub drinking up a storm just after the paycheck checks in.
So what are the big dreams we are likely to see in the new year? It’s a world cup year so you can expect some poor souls to have resolved to head out to Brazil for the world’s biggest sporting tournament. This is until they realise just how expensive it is to travel to Brazil. This is the dreamer who has been yelling from the Facebook rooftops that he cannot afford a set top box to migrate to digital TV.
Another popular resolution getting married. The only problem with such lofty dreams of course is that the person making the declaration was last seen with a boyfriend when she left college and she is clocking 20 years in the work place. How she will convince a gentleman to propose marriage within a few months is the big question.
We all want to do something better in the new year but the above resolutions can at best be referred to as unwise and at worst extremely foolhardy. Here are more reasonable resolutions.
2014 is my year of appointments
We all want to move upwards in our careers. Therefore it is very important that we are seen by people in high offices to be working hard. But the way things are going, being the top dog at a government agency is almost impossible unless your age is 70 years and above or you lost an election. Take heart nonetheless. You don't have to be the chairman or CEO of a governmental board to be important. You can always start small; volunteer to chair the board of the local kindergarten or be the leader of the local church choir. The people who are being given these lofty government offices must have started there then they were noticed surely?
2014 is my year of celebrity
This has been without doubt the year of the 'celeb'. Whereas in the past this term only referred to politicians or athletes, these days anyone can become an overnight celeb. Consequently, the number of celebs has exploded in every single field from music to acting to sport. Kenya now even has celebs that are famous for being famous, famous for being in a reality show where they sit around doing nothing all day and famous for releasing their own nude photos online.
You want to be celebrated too I am sure and this is why you have resolved to be a celeb this year. Some of the avenues to this can be quite dodgy. While releasing your nude photos might have been a good idea last year, it might not work very well especially if you happen to have a body that has been described very unflatteringly by a matatu tout. If you have been referred to as “wee mama” in recent times, this might not be the best route either. Reality shows are also very picky about their guests so this might not be the best way to go.
There is hope though. When you see cameras, you are advised to jump to action. If they are there because of an accident or another occurrence, then ensure that you give a testimony of what happened in your funniest accent. If you are lucky, that clip will be used in every political satire show and you will be on your route to 'celebdom' with thousands of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
Venue review: Mist Bar and Grill, Tom Mboya Street
It’s not every day that one gets to see a pub rebrand in Nairobi but a few days ago, I was lucky to see one such place. The venue which is on Tom Mboya street used to go by the name Brighton Hotel. I had passed by a few months ago and was told that it had been shut down. Last Monday, I was going through that part of town and saw a new sign announcing the Mist Bar and Grill. I walked up some stairs to the place which is on the first floor. If you are on a wheelchair, this place is not ideal for you. The walls on the way up were painted with '"happy holidays” posters.
The pub has a kind of setting that I see quite a lot in town; white leather seats leaning on the walls, comfortable red and black seats around tables, a counter with lots of alcohol and some flat screen TVs above it. The place seemed to be still under construction as some men were busy painting the roof and many surfaces were covered to prevent the paint from spilling on the tables.
I asked the waitress when they would be open for business and she informed me that they were in fact already open; one just needed to head out to the balcony to be served. I braved the paint fumes and made my way to the balcony where the same waitress brought my cold Tusker. It was going at Sh200. Below, Tom Mboya street bustled with activity. Matatu touts shouted to attract commutersheading to Westlands and Kinoo. Across the street there was a huge billboard of a college announcing that one’s career would take off if they studied there.
Sitting at the balcony with me were gentlemen sitting either on their own or in twos discussing in low tones what I assumed to be their plan for the new year or their million shilling deal. In the pub, I did see some ladies seated at the lounge area. I can’t be sure if they were punters but they were quite attractive.
The gents were still under construction so I used the ladies, which were spotless. What I didn’t appreciate was the lack of signs showing exit routes in case of an emergency.
A quick recap of the venue
Good: Convenient location, excellent décor and service, clean washrooms, TV for the sport fanatic.
Bad: No disability access, no clear signs for emergency exits, pricey
My verdict: It’s a good place to kill time when you are in downtown Nairobi.