Security is very serious business; especially where we live. In East Africa we have to deal with al Shabaab and other outfits forcing us all to live in a heightened state of alert. In South Africa, being a non South Africa or looking like a non South African can be a death sentence. In West Africa, Boko Haram is threatening the stability of Africa's largest country economy and population wise and neighbouring countries.
Even though security is such a basic need, the first one, not everyone in a society can part in ensuring it as that would mean that there would be no production. Because of this some people have to be given the job of securing our safety as others produce food, other give health and others produce gossip for racy blogs. Its how our society is designed.
For the battle with the bad guys to continue, we have to keep getting new recruits to replenish the police force which is the agency which is charged with ensuring safety within our borders. The only problem with the way that we do police recruitment is that it is done the same way that it has been done since colonialism and the beginning of Kenya as a country. Thus we ask the potential recruits to go to an open field and they are supposed to do some physically exercises that should impress examiners like was done in 1963. They are also asked to run laps and jump to prove their physical prowess and their bodies are examined with specific parts like their teeth being scrutinised keenly.
This system needs to change. The recruits that are sourced from this kind of exercise would mainly be able to cope with quick criminals but in the 21st Century the threat has changed a lot. We can't expect to deal with people who are using crime methods from today while one has been recruited to deal with goat thieves and night runners. With this in mind I would like to suggest a few more modern tests for the Kenyan Police Service recruitment for 2015. They will need to do the following;
1) The mchele test – Mchele is a Swahili word for rice. It is also a code word for drugs that are being used to make revelers at night spots incapacitated so that they can be robbed when they are docile. The potential recruit would be asked to come through to a popular night club and they would then be asked to meet a mchele merchant and find a way of surviving their attentions. One needs to drink while drunk and figure a way of getting home after being mugged of all possessions. Once you are able to do this on your own you are able to understand what the people going out to drink at night have to cope with and you can be a true cop.
2) The matatu test – You will be asked to board a matatu at prime time and your test will be to see who is the biggest criminal in it. Your options include your tout, the driver, the person on the seat next to you, the preacher who comes preaching, the man who comes selling medicine for stomach worms or the person insisting that you put on your seat belt. When you lose your wallet, to the seat belt guy of course, you have to go through the administration to get your new national ID and your other documents. If you do this in record time you will be ready to fight crime as you know what Average Njoros go through daily in public transport.
3) The budget test – You will be given a set budget and your job is to run a Nairobi home for a week. This budget will be very law; Sh500 and you have to run a home with a family of seven. If you are able to find a way to feed your seven test subject kids with the small budget and still at the end of the week own shares at a Sacco owning huge tracts of land in Kitengela, then you can have the job. With these kind of skill, you as a cop will learn how people survive in this town and thus know the loopholes for crime.
Venue Review: Le 63 Lounge and Restaurant, Uhuru Gardens, Langata Road
The Uhuru Gardens on Langata Road are famous for several things. They were the gardens where Kenyans went delirious as our nation was born in 1963. They were the gardens where the Nyayo regime put up a famous monument celebrating 25 years of independence that failed to work within weeks.
In recent times, the Uhuru Gardens have become more famous as the place one drives in with their cars with drinks and blasts music as they enjoyed the “nature.” At least that was what I had in mind for many years until I went there last Friday and sampled Le 63 Lounge. The lounge is at the right to the entrance just by the famous monument with the non working sprinkler system.
The lounge is quite small; it hosted about a few brown leather seats and a counter at the right of the entrance. At the counter there is a TV which plays music but it was mute as we were listening to the DJ mixes of a gentleman called DJ Kalonje in the background.
I was starving having been working all day without a break so I ordered chicken and chips (sorry I am so unimaginative but that's what I wanted) and it was lovely; except the salad which had a weird taste thus I left it on my plate. My cold Tusker Lager when it came was Sh200; no complaints from me anymore about this price as it looks to be the standard in Nairobi.
On the outside there were some bandas where you can enjoy the afternoon each of which had a TV for your enjoyment.
For a cold Friday night, it wasn't very full but the punters were mainly of the professional category; people who might be working in offices in suits of both sexes.
A quick recap of the venue;
Good: Decent décor, bandas for those who want to enjoy the outdoors, TV for the sports fanatics, clean washrooms, convenient location.
Bad: Service could be better but with the chilly weather coming it could be very tricky.
My Verdict: It's probably one of the city's biggest kept secrets; good food, family friendly, outdoors. You need to check it out.