I’m informed that Kenya is currently going through a special time that happens every year. We are currently going through what the tourism industry, one of the most profitable for our economy, calls high season. At this time, the country is filled with tourists from all over the planet to see many of our natural wonders. They are here as part of their holidays to see the wildlife in the parks and to lie on the world-class beaches.
The biggest draw according to those in the know are the animal migrations at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Narok county. At this unique event, animals in their thousands leave the Serengeti National Reserve in Tanzania to feast on the plush grass in Kenya. One of the unique parts of the attraction is that the animals, which are in the main wildebeest as well as others such as zebra and antelope, have to cross the Mara River, which is infested with crocodiles and all manner of dangerous predators looking to eat them. After waiting at the river for long periods, the animals will then stampede and somehow make it through. Of course there are some animals that perish, but in the main most make it across in one piece.
This unique experience is world renowned; and because of this, it can be very costly thus out of the reach of many Kenyans. Not ideal but it is what it is. If you can’t afford to see that kind of migration, here are some that you can catch at a very low cost and regale your grandchild about in your glory days of youth.
The Gold rush
Just like there are wildebeest that are prancing at the Mara River shores trying to make the choice about crossing safely and avoiding the predators, the same thing happens to medals the world over. These medals made from gold, silver and bronze are always trying to find a way to get to their cases at organisations such as the International Amateur Athletics Federation and the International Olympic Committee.
As they sit at championships, they will always be hoping to escape before they are feasted upon by the medal predators such as Kenyans, Ethiopians and Jamaicans. Unfortunately, escape is not on as they are feasted upon. This week for instance, medals especially of the gold variety tried to flee at a major sporting tournament in Beijing, China, but it was not to be. They were feasted upon by Kenyans who had no mercy on their metallic souls.
The real estate migration
Then there is the migration that we people living in Nairobi cannot avoid; we have to pay for the place that we lay our heads. Unless we are from very rich families. We must pay rent to someone, and this is when we find ourselves in the migration dilemma. We, the wildebeest, are either living with parents or living in smaller homes hoping to move to bigger ones. As we prepare to rush the system hoping not to be hit by the predators in the industry.
The predators are usually scoundrels – like mortgage salesmen, banks or even 'estate agents' looking to separate you from your hard-earned money. The estate agents are unique. In other countries they give you options of homes to move into and they get a commission from the landlord. Here, this fellow demands a small fee before he can show you one or two houses, which are usually very dodgy. In this migration unfortunately, unlike in others, no one comes out unscathed as you must part with your money. This is the most brutal of migrations closest to the migration in the Masai Mara.
If you want to see a unique migration type, then you want to attend a popular music concert or festival and watch the proceedings. The poor victims are usually the concert goers who had gone to enjoy themselves at the event, and the predators waiting for them are goons who are strategically placed just out of sight of security officers, but very close to public transport. These goons simply wait on the revellers who are slowly walking towards a matatu and pounce on them robbing them of their worldly possessions at that point in time. The items that will be harvested from the poor victims include wallets, phones and items of clothing such as fancy hats or shoes. The predators will then flee as soon as the alarm has been raised.
Venue review: Crow Daddy Mombasa Road
You don't want to be sitting on your couch in your house watching a big football match. You want to do this in a public place to get the flavour of both the action on the screen as well as fans watching the proceedings. The big match in the English Premier League was the Arsenal Vs Liverpool match on Monday, and I opted to watch it at the Crow Daddy that's on Mombasa Road. This is the second Crow Daddy in town with the other one being in Nyayo estate, Embakasi.
While entering the complex, I noted there was no ramp to get into – one had to go upstairs to the first floor to access the goodness therein. If you are in a wheelchair then this is not the place for you, sadly.
When I walked into the venue I noticed it was quite large. Just after the door, there is a counter to the right, and there were two sections of the main area – one within the building proper and another in a balcony set up. The outer balcony area was covered in glass – meaning that one was protected from the elements while still able to look out on Mombasa Road and enjoy the traffic that tends to pile at that section.
My partner and I made a beeline for one of the seats on the counter, and we asked the kind lady behind the counter for my cold Tusker. It was retailing at Sh200. Incidentally, all the people serving here on that chilly Monday evening were women .
With a cold beverage in hand, I looked around me to see what I had to work with. There were TVs overhead and they were weirdly enough playing country music with tracks from people such as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers. On inquiring of the bar lady what that was about, she explained that Monday was a country music day in the venue.
With this information I looked at the punters hoping to see guys in cowboy hats and boots as well as jackets with tassels. What I saw, however, were your typical Nairobi drinking crowd – slightly older with folks older than 30 generally. Many were in suits that told me they had a long day working hard and they were now taking a Night Cap baada ya kazi.
A quick recap of the venue
Good: Decent décor and service, clean washrooms,
Bad: Disability unfriendly, emergency exits not convincing,
My verdict: Country music on a Monday will be a very popular draw from a certain section of Nairobian.