By Mikez G.
It is a warm Friday evening and Kisii town is a beehive of activity. One would be forgiven to think that the day has just started. It is 8 p.m. There is this street littered with nightclubs with different disco lights flickering in various patterns seductively beckoning patrons. All their names are exotic: Star Lounge, Bellavista, Dallas and so on. There is a blaring mix of music that would make a toddler deaf and any music teacher angry.
At the entrance to Bellavista, is a voluptuous lady probably in her mid-twenties forcefully dragging a bulky man who seems to be in his late forties into the Club. The man is visibly agitated but is left with no option other than ascend the dimly lit stairs with the lady in tow. In the club, the situation is not any different. It’s now 10.30p.m.
The place is not only full but there is still a steady influx of party lovers. Bartenders are busy taking orders and serving different drinks. It is now hot, sweaty and stuffy save for a few fans here and there struggling to satisfy the giant hall’s insatiable appetite for fresh air. Almost all seats are occupied and some patrons appear not to mind standing along the spaces between chairs. To access cloak rooms one has to rub shoulders with huge and thin people, tall and short, old and young – all sorts of people.
Mercy Masika’s “Nikupendeze” has everyone dancing with abandon with several hands flying in the air; there is a clear disconnect between the actions of the revellers and the message in the song. Never mind that. Suddenly, there seems to be a commotion at the entrance. A hefty man is escorted by mean looking bouncers with their focus directed at a corner where there are couches. Definitely one has to make space for this one without being told.
Clutched in the fleshy left hand of this newcomer is an Apple iPhone that must have cost a fortune. He is in an untucked XXL stripped shirt that seems to be struggling to hold the protruding belly intact. He is led to a space in the couch occupied by a group of young men who upon his arrival spring up from their seats as if they have seen an elephant approaching. The man with thin streams of sweat running down his wide face doesn’t bother to appreciate the young men’s gesture. Instead, he lumps his heavy body sinking it in the couch occupying enough space for three.
Hardly has he settled down when a bevy of young girls barely out of their adolescence emerge from the door and surround the man momentarily seeming to conceal him from the sight of anyone else. Soon they are joined by three young men who must be in college. Barrels of John Walker, Jameson and Chivas Regal whisky are soon placed at the center of their table. It’s not clear who is going to take what.
It doesn’t take long to realize what is going on. The man is the one calling shots. All bills are directed at him. The young girls take turns to whisper in his ear. After a few sips, one by one the girls get on their feet and start slow but rhythmic swinging of their hips to the tune of the music. They all turn their hips in the direction of their host – the SPONSOR. Koffi Olomide’s “Ekotite” is now playing. The bulky man probably shy of embarrassing himself encourages the young men to join the ladies on the floor.
It’s now well past midnight and the host seems to be exhausted. His eyes are heavy and his breath deep. His ‘visitors’ on the other hand are now dancing vigorously rubbing their bodies against each other. There is evidently a deal being struck here and there. Soon the first pair leaves. The ‘host’ is now too tired to notice. Short snorts are occasionally heard from his direction. The second pair leaves. The Jameson has disappeared mysteriously from the table.
The DJ is now playing Reggae and a number of revellers have left; mostly in pairs. The ‘Sponsor’ is awoken at 3 a.m. by a waitress extending her hand to his face asking that he clears his bill of twelve thousand shillings.