I have always asked myself, “who exactly drinks at Mojos?’
See, next to Mojos is Tribeka, the home of ratchets in Nairobi. In fact if Mojos and Tribeka were twins, they will be fraternal. And Mojos will be the less attractive but more sensible one. And Tribeka will be the proud and annoyingly vain one.
Tribeka is for fakes. I mean, in 2nd floor, Tribeka has a sort of red-light-themed VIP section full aquariums, lounge chairs where beer is sold Ksh 400 or something as ridiculously high as that. I mean, do you need a fish aquarium and a nice sofa for you to enjoy your drink. You are not a kid in Disney World to require a fairy world for you to enjoy your Tusker.
Drinks in Tribeka are scandalously overpriced, yet it is the most overcrowded club in town. When we allow to be ripped off this way, we deserve the top three politicians Nairobi has. Not to hate, but even the ladies who throng to Tribeka overdo their make-up. And more repulsively, is a young man who was schooled courtesy of Baringo CDF wasting all his first job salary on overprized beer and ending up with fake light-skinned women, before he has even finished paying his HELB loan. It is financial suicide even attempting to buy a bottle of whiskey in Tribeka. Unless of course you are an MCA, flooding with allowances from an oversea trip.
But Mojos. I think, Mojos draws its patrons by pricing its beers reasonably lower than its next-building neighbour. And for that it draws extremely dissimilar crowds. And that is why it is the reasonable folks who drink at Mojos. Decent chaps. Cool lads and lasses. Mojos is not exactly an attractive club. Well, they have a nice and wider balcony, but on from Thursdays to Saturdays, you have to get there at least 10 a.m for you to get a space on the balcony and inside by 4.31 pm, it is normally full and guys don’t get off their seats until late night. The crowd being older, they are through the adrenaline stupidity of club-hopping of junior years in college.
The only problem we having currently is that esides, nowadays women can sit in balconies and bar counters and take brown bottles. By letting women drink brown bottles from balconies and counters, we are a cursed generation. No wonder we deserve politicians in the ilk of Sonko, Midiwo, Duale and such.
Mojos is a man’s bar. Wide and expansive balcony, three inside bars, the two internal balconies and ground floor full of plastic chairs you are likely to see in bars in the Eastlands. By the way, if a woman agrees to sit on such chairs, wife her. In an era where every bar is investing more on softer, whiter lounge chairs, it takes some form of humility for a lady to sit on a plastic chair, with a table decorated with a fading Guinness table mat.
I have observed that Mojos is for the folks mostly in their first job, and yet to own a car. So they cannot venture out of town. And they are shilling-conscious, cannot west a cent on taxi. They drink their before boarding a matatu to Donholm, Kasarani, Zimmerman, and such estates that soak up graduates on their first jobs. One thing you see on faces of people who drink in Mojos, is the village innocence written all over them that no lotion, jelly or perfume that will ever eradicate. I can guess, Mojos is for guys like us who went to schools in the villages, attended provincial schools in our respective provinces, and got to University courtesy of HELB. Mojos is not for cool kids. Or pretenders.
Even the women who come to Mojos, are down-to-earth. No woman has ever treated me with attitude at Mojos. I could be wrong, or just luck to have never been sneered at with a beautiful women donning a weave. I have scarcely seen a woman with a face that looks like she plastered chalk on her face before applying red-paint on her lips. In fact, the women in Mojos like the men are mostly from the village. Born and bred in the village. Went to school bare feet. Carried water on their backs or balanced it on their heads, before education rescued them and plunged them into the city. Now they waste their nights drinking harmful beers even as their mothers urge them to get married.
I have not been paid to market Mojos, but I like how unpretentious the place is. It never even tries too hard. And how do you know that the place does not try too hard. For one, the toilets are mostly dysfunctional. In fact in one of the Mojos toilets, they have a picture of Michael Jackson to indicate Gents, yet Michael Jackson is not the best example of manhood. But villager men don’t know this. And neither do they care.Fake places have art paintings with words such Kings or Queens or such bullshit. The toilet flush system in Mojos does not work.
They have a huge ‘mtungi ya maji’ with a cut ‘Kibuyu’ to aid you in flushing your ablutions. Yet it is at the centre of the city, in no nobler a street than Kimathi. They know that village patrons come from the village where they use pit-latrines. And where they live they toilet stopped working in the first month they moved into their apartment before the water started being rationed. The taps only runs on Tuesday at 2.37 a.m and Saturday afternoon. So they equally flush with water from a pail.
Secondly, it is the comparatively lower beer and whiskey prices. The owner must have known that Kenyans are hard squeezed and every penny they save is worthwhile. He capitalizes more on the volume of business to break even. Thirdly, the place is overcrowded and the guys I bump into in Mojos are the ordinary folks I was with at university or we grew up with in the village. Fourth, I suppose even the man who sells samosas and mshikakis out of Mojos is cheaper than the one who sells at Tribeka. Because he knows that the crowd he deals with is humbler one.
People who go to Mojos do not judge. Neither do they order shots of creamier, pricey drinks in order to appear cool. Maybe to get high. You don’t have to dress to impress anyone in Mojos. You go in as you are. Next time you are there, observe and see if there is anyone dying to be seen with a label, or an iPhone.
And speaking of phones, the crowd in Mojos mostly possess the average man’s phone: Samsung. It doesn’t matter whether it is an S10 or S20, a Samsung phone is Samsung phone. Every Otieno, Momanyi, Nyakundi, Njuguna own a Samsung. However big, it is a Samsung. There are phones for individuals who want to stand out in a crowd. Of which, iPhone has the highest snob appeal. Someone with an iPhone 2 is comparatively better in taste than someone with a S6. We all know this and let us not even try to argue. And then there is the crowd that stick with Nokia, thankful that Nokia rid itself of the cliché that comes with crowds that Samsung currently suffers. It is a statement of defiance when someone gets stuck in the past with Nokia. As for HTCs, now that royalty. HTCs are not as ordinary as Samsung, Alcatel, Nokia and yet they are not stuck-up as iPhones.
Back to Mojos. Long live the owner(s) for giving villagers like a chance to enjoy my beer without being judged and drinking at slightly affordable prices. Just fix the toilets, get the cisterns to work, get a better DJs, the music is so repetitive that I have crammed the playlist. And we will sure keep drinking there. Until we afford our first car so that we can try other places out of town. The cost of Taxi is prohibitive.
Finally, my best moment in Mojos came earlier in 2013. I was hosting this German friend and showing her Nairobi. The club was so packed, you will be luck to find your way to the loo. Then around 3 in the night, that evil time in clubs when strangers start kissing and perverted men start planting their fingers in orifices as bouncers and waitresses look the other way cursing. And then there were these two fat women, really huge with huge and flexible asses like those you see in Jamaican videos.
They were high on something else. At some point, one of them was dancing to any other man who was willing. And boy, she could wiggle her ass, like it was an external appendage of her body. Then there was this slender man, young man fixed himself behind her and they started simulating a sexual act, as RDX’s ‘Bendover’ permits. My German friend looked them disgusted to the bone. I don’t know what was going on in her mind but, it was not something fancy. And to us, all along, we were wishing she was not with us, and we could have taken our turn behind her for free rubbing of her huge ASSets. ..