A Visitor’s Weekend in Nairobi – Embukane Libosso | The Events Kahuna

Photo credit: http://www.alvankinyua.com

Nairobi Kenya, May 2018 –  Nairobi is a peculiar capital. She remains a city that loves me in ways no person ever has. She has ways of connecting with you personally. Monday mornings she respects your fierce footsteps and Thursday evenings she spruces up herself for an exciting nightlife.

When I read Nigerian author’s Tolu Ogunlesi piece on A Tourist’s Weekend In LagosI thought of designing a weekend experience of the city of Nairobi for visitors/tourists — the city as I know it as The Events Kahuna, I must clarify — kicking off on a Friday afternoon and ending lateon Sunday night.

Friday would start with a visit to Dunga Road’s best kept secret, The Go Down Arts Centre. As you drive, you watch Nairobi and her skyscrapers unfurl behind, eventually arriving not at a recording studio, but Over 10,000square meters of performance, rehearsal, studios and office space hidden in between the manufacturing and industrial go downs of Nairobi’s industrial area hub.

The Centre provides the first Kenyan multi-disciplinary space for arts and host organizations representing a variety of art-form and also residence programs. The GoDown Art Centre brings artists and audiences together in ways that refresh, challenge and inspire. And towards end of this year, this old space is set to be demolished to pave way to a modern art space in a project dubbed #GoDownTransforms.

Dinner plans. We will make our way, around 7pm, towards the in famous Pangani, a trading camp back in the days used by Arab traders as a route for transporting ivory from Ukambani to the coast. Historians note that Kikuyu women, being jobless, turned to serious prostitution servicing randy traders, bar-tending by day and turning their mud wattle huts into lodgings at night in the early 1920s.

Our destination far from the whoring lodgings, Asmara Restaurant. An authentically Eritrean restaurant, foodies, adventurous eaters and Injera lovers would love this piece of haven.

After dinner, we will head back to the city centre for Hennessy-and-Coke at Club Tribeka. Located in Banda Street, Nairobi, Tribeka aspires to continue doing all kinds of awesome things and live up to its tagline ‘Your passport to Nairobi’s nightlife’.

Here, Nairobi surrenders its whole body to a alcohol-fueled series of wild twists and gyrations that bear names like ‘Lipala’ and ‘Odi.’

After, we will make a stopover at the (in)famous Westlands Electric Avenue, where writer Biko Zulu notes, “Only the beautiful and the favoured walk in Westlands after 11PM.” The avenue has a way of hearing the satisfied sighs of the city. Girls glitter. Guys laugh while lighting spliffs. You can’t tell the economy is in shambles, neither convince anyone there is no money circulation.

This stretch is also one of the most down to earth drinking place in the city. We will sample a few joints before leaving Westlands (Westii) at some point and make our way to Ngong Road through the link road that weaves through the luxury apartment blocks of Kileleshwa. It’s a beauty, especially at night, when it is swathed in lights.

Nightlife on Ngong Road has a clandestine feeling. Depending on the mood, we may hit Galana Plaza for the VVIP club experience.

On Saturday we will sleep till late, and then head to the original Maasai Market, located at the Judiciary parking lot in Nairobi’s CBD. This is the best spot to buy collectibles. The secret to the best pricing is to go in the afternoon after traders’ resolve has been worn down by the city sunshine and the barrage of customers, notes one Nanjala Nyabola.

Saturday evening, we would head off to K1 Klub House for an evening of live music.

Sunday morning, while the rest of the city is stirring for church and the non-Christians chilling at home, we will head out to the homely Nairobi National Park, the only wildlife park in a capital city in the world. An early morning game drive is the best option for capturing cool images of lions, giraffes and even wildebeests.

Just like Tolu Ogunlesi in Lagos, the city takes on a convalescent character on Sunday mornings, one it can never quite manage to achieve at any other time of the week. It is when you can go from Langata to Westlands in twenty minutes.

We’d finally get a chance to leave the park and head to Alchemist Bar for the amazing Mama Rocks burgers–This funky food truck serving up a variety of delicious African-inspired gourmet burgers/meals.

From Mama Rocks we will make a return to K1 for the flea market: brunch, shopping, music, great company and fun.

Sunday night, we’d return to the city centre, to abandon ourselves to the intense rhythm of the city’s club hopping adventures, and intense bum-shaking until midnight!