There is one event that has been the talk in town the past few weeks – Saba Saba. When the opposition in Kenya held the first Saba Saba rally in 1990, chaos erupted leading to loss of lives and massive damage to property. However, during last Monday’s Saba Saba, which was held 24 years since the first one, the story was a bit different. Despite heightened tension in the country, no major fracases were witnessed. The chaos reported in few parts of the country was not as destructive. However, the day was marked with the usual loud declarations and demands by political leaders directed to the government. The TV stations, which the aired the event that took place at Uhuru Park were a bit discreet to avoid fuelling further tension as many Kenyans followed the proceedings from their homes.
As Saba Saba loses its glory, so do many people. The day seems to have reached its maturity, just like we all grow up at some point. When we were young, we looked forward to Christmas because of the goodies that come with it. But we now know the goodies do not walk into our homes; someone has to foot the bill, and thrill is no longer there. Before the new millennium, there was no much hype during birthday parties but with the advent of new media, the youths have turned into party animals. Give it time, and it will gradually fade away as well. There were some TV programmes that we loved when we were young. They kept us glued to the sets; missing out was unthinkable. The programmes no longer interest us, now that we know it all fiction – an act. During my childhood, I loved to watch Spider Man and Sport Billy – now I feel like a complete idiot after I learnt they were just basic animation, and their storylines had major flaws.
Just like I grew up, Saba Saba had to grow up as it was organised by politicians, who two and a half decades ago were young folks.
Think about it. Think about the Nairobian youth. When they start clubbing, it is usually a very exciting venture; they hype outings and do crazy stuff just to prove they are having fun. They hold ‘Tsunami’ parties just to outdo one another. They compete on who will be first to arrive at a pub for a drinking spree, and imbibe from 6pm only to stop when the cock crows. Throughout the night, they do voluptuous dances, engage in Karaoke, have sex…does Masaku7s ring a bell? You get the picture... Well, don’t forget getting into unnecessary fights and throwing up in the club is also part of ‘having fun’. Did I mention the partygoers, especially girls, will need to be skimpily dressed?
When a mature Nairobian promises to hold a ‘Tsunami’ party, however, things are slightly different. These adults, who would have had no problem sitting in a noisy club and yelling at the person next to them years ago, prefer a quiet place where they can converse with their companion. The companions are usually close friends or spouses. To them, excellent service at a joint is a priority. As they sip their drinks, they recount their youthful days with nostalgia, and laugh at the foolish things they used to do while partying. If they overindulge, they ensure they are shuttled home, not just for safety, but also to avoid an encounter with a breathalyzer. Once home, drunk and exhausted, they are shocked to find out that it is only 10pm! Partying used to start at this time back in the days.
The same way partying seems to go through transition so will Saba Saba day. Chaos on such days is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Dating game among Nairobians also evolves as they mature. The way we comprehend courtship depends on age we are in. Young people have unrealistic expectations of their partners. ‘Lonely hearts’ are usually expected to frequent social places where they can meet new prospects. This means spending less at their homes. A dating ‘Tsunami’ includes coffee date, a movie or a walk in Uhuru Park, where a couple can talk and bond. The date comes to an end when the gentleman sees off the lady, and stands to watch her board a matatu. If the date was a great success, the two walk hand in hand. The man gets a peck on his cheek – or a little more – depending on the location of the matatu, and the amount of lighting before they part.
As youthfulness fades away, expect a slightly different type of dating ‘Tsunami’. For starters, courtship at this period involves babysitters, as most couples above 30 are parents. The venue of the date is usually classy and the couples have to dig deeper into their pockets. The discussions are centred on catching up on each other’s lives – their career, family, and business – serious stuff. These things determine the success of relationships. The couples looks back at their heydays –you know, the people they dated and reasons why they broke up. You need to be cautious on this one – no one wants to date a psycho serial dater... If it goes really well then the two will pull out their iPads to squeeze in their next date in their busy schedules before driving off to their residences.
Venue review: Club Maxland, Mountain Mall, Thika Road
Friday evening is one of the best times to check out a place in town. Last Friday, I was at Thika Superhighway to check out Club Maxland, after a friend recommended it. The joint is on the third floor in Mountain Mall near a bus stage known as “Roasters.”
It was not the first time I was at Maxland as there is another joint that goes by the that name on Waiyaki Way. There is a large sign written Maxland mounted on the mall at Thika Road. It is conspicuous for all to see. The building has elevators, which makes the place accessible to wheelchair users.
The joint is partitioned into cubicles and given names like Serengeti and Tsavo. This provides a more relaxed environment. There is a stage at the centre of the joint, which comes in handy when hosting a live band. At the washrooms, there was a poster indicating the joint plays live music ever so often.
I settled into a seat overlooking Thika Road. The view of the highway and the area around is quite exhilirating. A waiter came and took my order for a cold Tusker, which retailed at Sh200. Well, this seems to be the price of beer anywhere loos are clean.
The joint has flat screen TVs – a good place for those who love to watch sports. I noticed the place had been designated as an official fan park this Friday for football fans following World Cup matches.
As I sipped my drink, customers started streaming in, mainly men and a few ladies, who appeared to be in their late twenties. This place seemed to attract mature audience, which was contrary to my expectations going by the set up.
A quick recap of the venue;
Good: Convenient location, great décor and service, clean washrooms, disability friendly, TV for the sports fanatic,
Bad: Not ideal for intimacy
My verdict: Great for large parties out of town.