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February 19, 2019

It’s time old school tenders came back

It’s time old school tenders came back
It’s time old school tenders came back

We have come a long way as a society, with amazing leaps in technology in whatever field you look at. Today, we can chat with loved ones on gadgets called mobile phones, whether they are in a room or a continent away.

The same devices allow us to send money, pay bills and do a whole load of things that we could never have imagined doing a decade ago.

A service called the Internet has brought us many new joys including social media through which we can communicate and shopping services fronted by funny man Eric Omondi and many more.

As we move boldly into the future, our digital government decided Kenyans need to take stock and perhaps remember a long gone golden age as the Ministry of Lands tendered for typewriters.

A ministry official explained that they needed these machines in remote areas which don’t have electricity. The furore that rose on all social platforms in anger and amusement was quite high and I was initially amongst those who were unhappy with this strange government position.

After the anger subsided, I thought about it again and saw that it is not all doom and gloom as this move may also come with some opportunities.

If the government can put out tenders for things that have long been discontinued, then why can’t we as citizens join the game? After all, what one needs is to put out a tender and someone out there will send in their quotations and the best from the shortlisted three will get the prize.

The first thing that a Nairobian would tender for would be the old school Nairobi date. While you might think that the Nairobi date is like what people watch on TV show Tujuane with a variety of locations and activities, the real picture on the ground is totally different. The date today involves folks meeting up in a loud bar and then in other loud bars until a child appears from only God knows where. This means that both partners rarely enjoy the wooing process that was the old Nairobi date that involved asking a lady on a date and having to be persistent as she gives colourful excuses on why she can’t go out with you.

These include having to wash her hair even though she only had matuta (small bantu knots) or even a bald head or having to take care of her sister’s newly-born baby.

When the lady finally accepts your advances, the dates involved going to imaginative places that don’t involve either darkness or alcohol.

These clean dates included visits to swimming pools (to see the body of the dater), Uhuru Park and the Arboretum (to show her that one is in touch with nature) and walking in the estate (because of lack of finance whilst claiming to be romantic).

Another on the list of the old school tenders would be the old school red telephone booths as well as home and office phones for primary communication.

One would imagine that with mobile phones, things have improved but there can be an argument for returning to the past. The old school phones ensured that people kept time for appointments.

One was also protected from getting random SMS messages from telecoms like “Call and text more and get the chance of going to the World Cup in Brazil,” or “Bonyeza ushinde mamilioni kila wiki!” (play and win millions every week!) One would also avoid scammers who call you saying that you have won Sh250, 000 from a promotion you have never heard of, and all you need is to send a small amount of money to collect. While we are at it, I would quickly put out a tender for products like Chooz, a tasty snack, Tarino a soft drink, Nestomalt a warm beverage, 555 a cigarette brand and Tusker Export. These are brands that were very popular in the 20th century but are unheard of in the new millennium. These products will do very well with those born between the 1950s and 1970s, a demographic that is usually ignored by marketers targeting the youngest of our population termed as the “dot com generation.”


Venue Review: Mercury Pub and Grill, The Junction mall


Last weekend was the St Patrick Day one. I'm not too sure the significance of the day to the world but here in Nairobi, we understand it as the day when the Irish drink, so we joined in.

There was a bit of drinking on my part as well. I started my Saturday at the Mercury Pub & Grill at the Junction on Ngong Road which fashions itself as a bit of an Irish bar.

The Junction mall is one of the most secure places you can have a drink in the city.

Having gone through the double checks for security, I went to the first floor of the new wing of the mall past a few restaurants with a focus on Mercury. At the entrance to the pub and grill, I saw an image of a little man in a green bowler hat holding aloft what I could only surmise to be a pint of Guinness which I think they call a leprechaun.

Inside, I found a not too large room with several options for the punters. There was a small section at the balcony for those who love to watch people in the street and those checking into the building as they enjoyed the breeze.

It is also an area for those who have a love of puffing tobacco products without fear of messing up other punters. Other options included a bar counter to the right of the entrance where I made my way and ordered my cold Tusker which was retailing at Sh300.

This price is really high, considering it’s a time of the month when things are financially tight for a Nairobian. At such prices, I didn’t want to drink for many hours.

Despite my having serious issues with the prices, the place was rapidly filling up with punters ready to party the weekend away.

Above the counter, there were a few TV sets for those who might want to catch games. For the rest, especially Manchester United and Chelsea fans, you can still enjoy the great décor that the place offers.

The junction’s pub is Mercury’s second pub after the Mercury Lounge situated at the ABC Place on Waiyaki Way.

A quick recap of the venue

Good; secure location for your person and belongs, TV for sports fanatics, decent décor, great service.

Bad: Pricey.

My verdict: A good place to take a new date, basically to impress her before downgrading her mercilessly to the dingy joints with names like Njugunas.

Poll of the day