When the clock strikes 8pm and night gathers, Nairobi comes alive. A whole flurry of activities goes on in the gleeful watch of the moon and the stars.
Whether you want to dance, listen to live music, eat delicious food or hang out at a wine bar and drink a tot of tequila, there’s always plenty to do at all hours of the night. The city clubs close at the wee hours of the morning.
But over the weekend, the ‘cirry’, as Governor Mike Sonko calls it, was desolate and imbued with an unfamiliar silence.
All bars remained closed as Kenya embarked on its decennial count of all persons within its borders for resource allocation planning.
Nairobians were surprised that all watering holes were closed as per the directive by Internal Security CS Fred Matiang’i.
“Even Sabina Joy, one of the oldest entertainment joints in Kenya was closed,” a client outside the club told the Star.
“The last time the joint closed was during the 1982 coup attempt. We have never seen this place closed and we don’t understand why they had them close down on a Saturday, when most of us want to relax after a long week at work.”
The local disco matangas, where a group of men, women and children dance the night away, were asked to refrain from the occasion.
Church ‘keshas’ were also suspended during the census, which ends on Saturday, August 31. In Homa Bay, night runners were ordered to stop their operations for the duration of the count.
Hakuna pekejeng! Bars to close early on Census night
So, how is the going for Kenyans and census officials during the enumeration? The Star took to the streets to interview Kenyans and phoned enumerators for answers.
Most of those the Star interviewed are yet to be counted. A separate poll by the Star found that 57 per cent of readers are still awaiting their date with the questionnaire. But those who’ve faced it said it left a lot to be desired.