Are there too many bars in Nairobi and Not enough fun activities?
According to city hall Vincent Shimoli, the county liquor board chairman, Preliminary findings shows that we have around 30,000 establishments in Nairobi. These are too many for the city. We only need about 7,000. This has also been echoed by several expatriates I have had the chance to interact with. Once you have gone through the top 30 bars in Nairobi there is nothing else to do. No new experience just a brick and mortar place selling alcohol.
It’s a shame that our culture is being built around this kind of lifestyle, the first thing that come to mind on a Friday evening is where are we going for a drink, repeat on Saturday and nurse a hangie on Sunday. I have nothing against alcohol on a leisure activity, I however have a problem with us Kenyans or Nairobi for demanding less of an experience. Naivasha is making a killing from those Nairobi folks who are tired of the stale Nairobi nightlife and they just put a little more effort.
There have been are several well thought of activities in Nairobi that stand out but they never seem to weather the storm. Like what happened to the ice skating at Panari, I know it still exist but why is there no hype anymore. I heard there used to be a bowling alley at the Village market but it closed because we would rather pay kshs 300 for a beer than ksh1500 for an experience. Remember Lunar park at Parklands with the Banana ride, it was the bomb back in 2012.
Its very expensive to find family friendly fun experiences
Currently It is particularly harder if you are looking for an affordable family friendly experience, the ones that exist are okay but you have to break your bank if you have to partake every now and then. While i understand for a behaviour to be changed we have to take deliberate actions as individual and all relevant organisation like Ministry of tourism or Ministry of sports and culture to cultivate and grow a different set of culture, away from just sitting on a bar stool and pissing off your money.
After changing status from a Kijana (Young Adult) to a Baba (Father), I started looking out for places or activities that we all can partake and funny enough the most basic ones are the most fun. I have found the below activities more satisfying and very different from my previous experiences.
- Go visit a friend/Relative – Go visit someone, I am sure on your phone book there is someone you haven’t seen in months but talk daily. Make a plan, ask them to cook, bring wine or beer and see how much of a good time you will have.
- Go for a movie – Most of us pass by movie theatre everyday but never make plans on visiting. I can assure you a Movie theatre experience is way much better than the buying a DVD from your movie buy. I watched Kong at the Imax and then a month later I watched online on my laptop, the adrenaline you get on Imax can’t compare, it’s like watching two different movies.
- Enroll into a Club – Clubs whether Golf, Baking, Soccer, Auto, whatever floats your boat automatically fills in your weekend dates with fun activities, and it’s not as expensive, with a little research you will find a club subscription that can fit into your monthly alcohol spend.
- Find a weekly activity – Like a sporting activity on Friday with your tummy buddies people with whom you share a goal .e.g. losing weight. Playing football replaces your drinking hours and improves your health, (P.S. You can take Saturday off to indulge if you have but all in all you will have reduced your drinking time)
- Volunteer – Take time to do things that help others, that how you build goodwill, and while at it save it to bank for a rainy day.
- Go watch a Local Football or Rugby match- we are lucky that for a 6-8 months in a year you are sure to catch a game on any or either of the two.Check Kenya rugby 24/7 or Jaza stadi on twitter to know when and where it be happening.
I am not oblivious of the fact that the English premier league heavily contribute to our currently entertainment lifestyle but I am sure you can fit the above and the games fixtures into one plan. It’s not rocket science. So, when next time someone suggest we hit the bar be creative and offer an alternative.