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February 19, 2019

How Nairobians will welcome Rais Obama

How Nairobians will welcome Rais Obama
How Nairobians will welcome Rais Obama

It seems that the one thing that would be on the lips of every Nairobian for the next few months is that of the American with a Kenyan background, US President Barack Obama. He is set to come to Kenya in late July for an entrepreneurship summit, making it the first time a sitting American President is visiting us. Our neighbours, Tanzania and Uganda, are already used to this 'honour' having been visited by US Presidents in recent times – but this is our first.

Visitors make their hosts a bit uncomfortable because of the pressure to put their best foot forward. In a home, having visitors meant that children would sleep on floors or share beds so that the visitors are comfortable. Children were tasked with chasing chickens they have been salivating at for months, and their best parts were reserved for this visitor while leftovers were set aside for their chaser. While the host, or at least the host's children, felt uncomfortable for a short time, there were some benefits in the short or long term. This sort of preparedness also happens, in larger scale, when a visitor is to tour a town. Some months ago, Eldoret and Nakuru residents, for instance, almost licked the streets of their towns clean in readiness for the 'Mighty Prophet of God' who was on a preaching mission. While the cleaning exercise was strenous for the residents, at least their towns were left impeccably clean. So you won't be hearing of cholera outbreaks in those towns any time soon.

If those people could do so much for the preacher, then expect grand preparation for the most powerful President in the world. This, however, will a be a hell on earth for many. Just when we thought that it cannot get any worse with the junks filling our roads and causing traffic jams after the drastic reduction in oil prices, we now have to deal with US security agents dotting our city ensuring the safety of their leader. So expect even more jam-packed roads, and possibly weak mobile phone signals as the network will be accommodating much much more calls than we are used to.

The visit of President of the United States (Potus) has its benefits though; the first beneficiaries being the elite in Kenya. Believe it or not, the evil foibles of our leading citizens will have to take a backseat. Disappearing from the front pages will be corruption-laden stories and exposés on the lurid actions of the have beens. Taking centre stage will be the Obama in Kenya narrative. The best thing about the leader is he always has something for everyone. Ladies, especially of the older variety, will be enthralled by the First Lady Michelle and her muscle-filled arms. Teenagers and #TeamMafisi will be enchanted by the first teenagers, Sacha and Malia, hoping they will be scantily dressed like they were during the Thanksgiving Day in White House.

Then there are the majority of us who will be nowhere near this legendary leader, unless the organising committee will be kind enough to allow Potus to make a triumphant entry into the country. We might frantically wave at him with both American and Kenyan flags as his entourage makes its way from the airport to State House. I assure you the guy who wins the tender to supply those flags will make a killing. This is because they will be paid for the services and probably not deliver them, leaving street-wise entrepreneurs to supply the hottest items for the day. Also likely to have a booming business that day will be those selling T-shirts with messages such as, “Uncle Barry went to America and all I got was this lousy T-shirt”, “President Obama for Kenyan Presidency 2017” or “President Obama Kenyan Visit 2015 Survivor”.

It won't just be Obama's fans who will be out in full swing to welcome the leader of the world's largest economy and his host President Kenyatta. You can be sure to find those who have 'beef' with the American. You might encounter a variety of animals that may bring traffic to a standstill. Forget the roaming cows that litter our streets; you may witness snakes, baby crocodiles and scorpions being unleashed, which will leave the crowd fleeing for their dear lives. Those protesters are likely to claim that our association with the American leaders is akin to those reptiles. Also expect to find another group unleashing bees, to justify the visit was a curse.

Whatever way you look at it, this promises to be one of the most memorable happenstances the country has not experienced in recent times. See you by the roadsides.

Venue Review: X/S Millionaires Casino, Baricho Road

It was at 4am on Saturday morning when I hooked up with a bunch of my friends who had just left another joint in town. And we were still in the mood for a nightcap before retiring to bed. I suggested that we try X/S Millionaires Casino that I always see whenever I am on Baricho Road area since last year. As is the standard today, this venue has had its name changed severally in the last few years, its latest name being The Legend.

The entrance fee for this place is a whopping Sh1,000, which can be redeemed by having drinks. Good thing we were there so late that we walked in with my friends free of charge.

We made our way to the centre of the large venue and settled on seats near a large dancing floor. I quickly noted something unusual. A young woman in an outfit best suited for taking swimming lessons was dancing raunchily to the music that was being played that early morning. Frankly speaking, it was a good show. Behind her were a few other women dressed in a similar manner waiting for their turn to show off their moves.

My friends and I sat by the raised platform and ordered a round of drinks. The price of my cold Tusker was Sh300. Mite pricey even for an extravagant Nairobian but the service was exceptional. They even allowed us to settle our bills using mobile money transfer as we had run out of cash while at our previous pub.

Besides the dancing floor, which seemed to be the main attraction, there were a couple of little areas where one could enjoy their drinks away from the madness. There was also a section upstairs where one could catch the action undisturbed. Another attraction was the several TVs mounted around the venue where one could catch the match between Arsenal vs Liverpool later in the day. Surprisingly, the place was still fully packed with punters at such odd hours.

A quick recap of the venue;

Good: Great décor and service, disability friendly, clean washrooms, decent adult entertainment, TVs for sports fanatic, convenient location

Bad: Pricey, one entry and exit not ideal.

My verdict: You get entertained while watching the game on big screen TVs not very far from town. I have no complaints for the adults-only entertainment. Twitter: @jamesmurua


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