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February 20, 2019

Where new panic button will come in handy

I have been a faithful subscriber of GOTV, the pay TV which is part of DSTV that brings us the English Premier League, for a long time.

I am however reconsidering my patronage to the service as it doesn’t seem to offer most of the local TV channels such as KTN, NTV and Citizen. This is because I it a great inconvenience to rise up from the couch to go and manually change the TV back to the local channels.

 I lost my TV remote control long ago and have been using the pay TV remote control.

 On Monday, I was watching al Jazeera, and just as I was standing up to change to the local stations, I saw a very interesting news report.

 Amnesty International, the body that champions human rights globally, have come up with a mobile application which once downloaded, can be activated in the event of an emergency to alert other rights activists of impending danger.

This mobile app will be very popular in Kenya, where we seem to need such panic buttons in several occasions, only that it may not be used as Amnesty international had envisaged.

 The panic button will be very useful to those in a matatu, once they spot “suspicious people” sited next to them. In Nairobi folks have become super paranoid thanks to numerous terror attacks that have seen explosions happening in several corner of this country.

 Even those who enter elevators will be a bit on the edge as it has emerged this week that this is one place which is no longer safe.

Ask popular hi-hop artiste Jay-Z who was accosted by his sister-in-law Solange Knowles, while in an elevator recently when they were leaving an event.

 Another place you are likely to see many alerts are schools.

 The alarms will mostly be sounded at the beginning of school terms as student send panic messages, after having failed to write their “How I spent my holiday” compositions.

 It will be at an all time high when the results of national examinations are announced. Parents expect their children to perform well especially in final examinations.

On the other hand, students know failure to perform well only means one thing – war. Students will be sending panic messages in anticipation of a thorough beating.

 Even in the relationship arena there are likely to be quite a few panic alerts sent out.

They will especially be strong during the major public holidays like Christmas and Easter as well as the manufactured ones like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

 Most affected are those suffering from an emergency of love or from those who are in relationships with married folks and they finally realise that the man or woman will never divorce their partner.

Corporations will not be spared. Expect many panic alerts when companies are holding their weekly sales meetings to see whether targets had been arrived at.

 You can expect messages from junior employees who have to deal with their unhappy sales managers.


Venue Review: Empress Grill, Koinange Street

I was in downtown Nairobi on Friday evening to watch a show one of my good friends highly recommended. I arrived too early and without a bar in that complex, I looked around for one, ending up in Koinange Street at the Hotel Metro.

 To the left of the entrance was a sign reading “Empress Grill” . It announced that salsa dancing was happening there.

I decided to give it a try and walked through the door and down the stairs as the salsa haven is at the basement. Wheelchair bound Kenyans wishing to watch Kenyans dancing the forbidden dance that is Salsa (or is the lambada) will have to look elsewhere.

 I sat at the bar counter and asked for a cold Tusker. It costs Sh200; these high prices could be one of the many reasons why some Kenyans are consuming illicit brews.

 The bar has pretty decent décor and this is not a surprise as the place is still new.

It gave me the impression of a place which would go to the dogs if not well maintained. At the centre of the place was a big empty area, which was very strange to me as bars in this town tend to be filled with seats to maximise revenues with many patrons.

The music playing in the background was definitely from the Latin American continent. As time went by, the previously-empty bar was filling up.

 Many people proceeded to the dance floor with the guidance of a young man, teaching them the dance with the characteristic counting that is done for novices trying to learn the dance.

 By the time I was leaving at just a few minutes to seven the place was filling up and there was a man at the door charging patrons as they went in Sh250. Turns out this is the place where many people who want to dance salsa come and meet their kind.

A quick recap of the venue.

 Good: Central location, decent décor, great service, clean washrooms

 Bad: Disability unfriendly, emergency exits not convincing.

 My verdict: You want to learn Salsa on a Friday evening with people of a similar leaning, the Empress Grill is a good place to start.

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