If you live in this town, then you know that March 4 is the day that Kenyans go to polls for the first time under the new constitution.
Many countries, some in our continent, host elections on a regular basis without much fuss. In Nairobi however, we have a strange relationship with elections.
Under normal circumstances, most Nairobians are warm and intelligent people who discuss most topics with utmost sobriety.
However, when an election like the forthcoming one is around the corner, this reasonable person undergoes a strange transformation. They go into a frenzy collecting every little information about the candidates running, the parties and every slogan that has to do with this special time.
These days, every conversation involves, in large parts, a discussion on the coming weeks when folks will be ticking ballot papers in booths up and down the country.
This is the time when many people exhibit behaviour that could only lead a professional counsellor to referring to the typical Nairobian as an election junkie. A significant minority will also be diagnosed with election fatigue.
A junkie is a person who is addicted to a substance that usually affects their lives in a negative way. They will seek their fix at all costs and once they get it, they sit down and revel in it. When the effects of the drug die down they go into depression until they are access the drug again.
The problem here is that as soon as their bodies get used to the drug, they will need more and more quantities to ensure that they get 'high'. They will go to any lengths to get their fix to the detriment of their careers and even loved ones.
Observing Nairobians, I have to say that many are currently in the throes of an addiction that we all can easily diagnose; the election addiction. Every conversation, whether with a friend or stranger has the election as a major part of the narrative. At the beginning of the chat, the people engaged in the conversation keenly look out for hints to know whether they support the same candidate.
If they are in your camp, they will proceed to unveil the reasons why you are in agreement. The conversation will be very enjoyable for both parties as they bring points that they believe will paint their candidate in good light.
If the two parties are in opposing camps, discussions will usually be civil at the beginning but they can turn ugly very fast, depending on the temperament of the discussants. Heaping praises on their preferred candidates and defending them against accusations from opposing camps give the discussants the fix they desperately need.
The election junkie also gets his need fixed by being fixated on political TV and radio content.These include live debates, election specials where communications experts explain the body language of candidates and vox pop.
The junkie also feeds on every form of literature with politics in it, be it in the newspapers or the internet. Mind you most of the content in the newspapers and websites is old information souped up to sound new. Some election junkies have to go downtown and join Kamukunjis, usually of guys, who are discussing their favourite candidates.
The sudden deluge of election content now means that news programmes that usually last only 30 minutes take two hours as every election-related news report has to run in full. There are bigger things happening elsewhere in Africa and the world in general but Kenyans are fixated on local politics. Africa is in the throes of its biggest football tournament but every discussion this weekend is about which presidential is ahead.
It's only a matter of time before Nairobians get to the point where they'll be seen in dark alleys literally eating newspapers with the latest election content.
Venue Review: Crow Daddy's pub,Nyayo Estate
Getting to Crow Daddy's pub last Friday was quite the chore. I had to take a number 34 Double M bus to the Tassia estate, take a turn to Outer-Ring Road before taking a little eight-seater vehicle to the venue. The pub is a few metres away from the famous Nyayo Estate which houses many middle class Nairobians.
I was being frisked by the security personnel at the door, I thought that I was entering your typical estate pub. But once I was inside I got an entirely different experience as I was transported to a world I rarely see in the Eastern part of Nairobi city.
There was a large room with a counter hugging the right wall. I headed there, sat and ordered a cold Tusker which was retailing at Sh140. Not bad a price for the last weekend of the dreaded month of January. Crow Daddy's décor is really good. The main colours are red and black and there were TVs that screened programmes on wildlife.
The seating was almost luxurious and many people lounged on the comfy chairs. On the right side was a little room which the barman told me could be hired for special occasions. I made my way to the upstairs section and looked around. At the corner of the building, there was a pool table where some people were playing. I joined them and embarrassed myself comprehensively as I was thoroughly beaten.
The area is designed to get the most from the elements as it has no roof. Large umbrellas stand above several tables. The setting would be great in an afternoon but not in the chilly Nairobi evenings. This section had its own reasonably-sized counter, TVs as well as washrooms which were quite clean. The crowd was mainly urban professionals and they seemed to be residents of Nyayo Estate.
The emergency exits were not clearly labelled, especially at the upstairs section, so this is one of the places I wouldn't want be found in during an emergency.
Good: Reasonably-priced drinks, excellent décor, outstanding service, accessible for the disabled.
Bad: Not ideal for people using public transport.
My verdict: It's probably one of the best pubs in this part of the city. Give it a try with friends especially if you live in that part of town.