Art & LifeSocietyNairobi Nights


Posted on Monday, 25 May 2009 14:43

Nairobi Nights

By Parselelo Kantai in Nairobi


Before the coming of FM radio classifieds, mobile phones and reconditioned cars, Nairobi was a strangely immobile place. People knocked off work on a Friday evening and trooped to their neighbourhood locals or downtown bars where, over warm beers, they would proceed to decry the failed state of the city’s nightlife. ?


Not any more. The radio DJs scream in your ear all week about the latest, hottest, happening place. Across town, bars and clubs have suddenly become accessible.??


• Afropolitans and expats looking for an ‘authentic’ flavour of the city can home in on Maison Française, off Monrovia Street in the city centre with its Friday night concerts, which features a blend of new and established Afrofusion musicians, before moving on for a beer at Wasanii Bar (above) at the Kenya National Theatre. For dancing, there’s rhumba at Club Afrique on Museum Hill, and for really late-night dancing and rhumba you can turn around and go back downtown to Club Dolce on Koinange Street.


??• Nairobi party central is the Woodvale Grove scene in Westlands, a blend of bars and clubs packed so tightly together you can dance to the next song at the bar on the other side of the wall – if there is space. There is genge and kapuka music at Black Diamond, Red Tape and Rezorus. Havana has DJ sessions on Thursday nights. At Dass, there is a spoken-word poetry session one Friday a month. Watch out for the traffic.


??• There is no-frills drinking in Nairobi West, and Jeans Bar – at the end of an impossibly long line of cheap, unpretentious bars – is still the last port of call for the veteran Nairobi beer drinker. ?


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