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Nairobi sex workers cry foul as Simmers Restaurant is demolished

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Nairobi Commercial sex workers are not a happy lot. On Saturday, many of them took to social media to protest the demolition of Simmers Bar and  Restaurant at the junction of Kenyatta Avenue and Mundi Mbingu Street.

Sisme wrote on Twitter: This was the only place left for me to get some decent men. Where do we go now?

Karigirl wrote: “We are tired of this discrimination (sic). We serve the high and mighty yet no one seems interested in ensuring our places of work are not interfered with.”

Police on Friday evening removed furniture and everything stocked at the popular Restaurant in Nairobi CBD. A contingent of officers stormed the restaurant bringing to an end the sprawling life of the popular joint.

On Saturday, the restaurant , which is adjacent to 680 Hotel, was flattened and debris was strewn all over Kenyatta Avenue. For decades, the restaurant had become synonymous with live band performances, mostly drawing musicians from DRC. It also was a favorite for twilight girls intent on making quick bucks from amorous revelers – both female and male.

Elsewhere some of the sympathisers as well as those who frequented the joint for food, music and refreshments also condemned the demolition.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Late night Kenyan drinkers welcome the outlawing of Alcoblow

“End of an era? Where else can one go to for the best Lingala music?” Wondered Kamaugm on Instagram.

“The way they do things in Kenya is very crude. Did they really have to use such force?” Asked Odhisjosh.

Njeri Osaak wrote on Facebook: “Ati Simmers ni hayati? Last stop from Theater, Ndombolo ya Solo and cold beer kwisha! Haha!”

DISPUTE

On Friday, Daily Nation reported there had been a long simmering (pun not intended) ownership dispute.

“I do not know what is going on. I do not know why this is happening,” the owner, former Kimilili MP Suleiman Murunga was quoted by the paper as saying.

“The police have stormed here, and instead of being an arbiter they have come with orders that have not even been served on me. This is impunity!” He said.

Popular Simmers bar and restaurant closed and property removed from the premises on March 2, 2018. PHOTO | COURTESY.

According to the daily, Murunga is engaged in a fight for the plot with the family of former Finance minister Arthur Magugu, which says it co-owns the property with Nilestar Holdings Limited.

But  in court cases since 2014, the defendant told the court that the ownership of the plot by Nilestar lapsed when its 99-year lease ended in December 2009, adding that the firm has no right to demand rent for the three years.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Late night Kenyan drinkers welcome the outlawing of Alcoblow

Mr Murunga told the court he applied and received allotment letter on November 3, 2011 from the Commissioner of Lands after paying Sh2.4 million but Nilestar’s lease renewal bid in October 2009 was allegedly rejected.

PROPERTY CASE

In court papers filed in January 2014, Mr Murunga said he owned the premises he has rented for years on grounds that he was awarded the property in 2011 by the Commissioner of Lands after Nilestar’s lease expired four years ago.

He moved to court seeking a restraining order against Nilestar Holdings — which in mid-December threatened to evict him from the prime property over Sh1.62 million rent arrears.

On Friday, Mr Murunga said the case was still ongoing.

“The case is not over,” he said.

RATES

KSN has learnt that the restaurant has also been facing problems with the county government over land rates.

In May 2014, county government officials pounced on the restaurant to attach Sh1.1 million in land rates owed to City Hall.

However, Mr Murunga, who was at the establishment, wrote two cheques to the county to settle the matter that nearly turned ugly.

A year later, the county government was at the establishment again, this time demanding Sh12 million in arrears.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Late night Kenyan drinkers welcome the outlawing of Alcoblow

And in a related development, commercial sex workers in Busia County on Saturday marked the International Sex Worker Rights Day with an appeal to the national government to legalise their work.

Busia Survivors programme manager Caroline Kemunto led the team to clean Busia County Referral Hospital compound and wards after a peaceful procession in the town.

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I’d never live in US again even if they gave me $1M a year – Koinange

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Kenyan media personality Jeff Koinange and his co-host Jalang’o on Hot 96 FM took time on Tuesday to discuss how Kenyans in the US live in their new home and how they act when they go back home to Kenya for holidays.

In a discussion that began with Jeff saying that he had met an old friend who has been living in New Jersey for 30 years, the conversation turned to why he would never return to America and slowly veering into the tribulations faced by Kenyans in the US.

“I will never go back to stay in America even if they gave me a million dollars a year,” Jeff proclaimed. “Nowhere be like Africa”

The duo also discussed what they thought were the reasons that Kenyans get “stuck” in the US. They at one point speculated that many in the US go back home only to find that their peers are doing pretty well and feel like they are no match.

Listen to the whole conversation here.

-jambonewspot

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Late night Kenyan drinkers welcome the outlawing of Alcoblow
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VIDEO: Drama as ‘Mpango wa kando’ shows up at lover’s wedding dressed in own gown, head veil

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What would you do if you were a man, who had a “mpango wa kando” and she shows up at your wedding dressed in her own gown; and above all, she has her own head veil, which she’d want you to lift?

Sounds like a script from a Nigerian movie, right?

Well, that is what happened when a spurned woman stormed her lover’s wedding while dressed in a white wedding gown and head veil. She wanted the groom to marry her alongside the bride.

The groom, choosing to remain calm about the whole situation, stood unperturbed next to his wife-to-be.

The bride, on the other hand, looked confused as the side chic caused chaos on her Big Day.

Efforts by the church security to eject her from the ceremony proved futile, with the side chic saying that the groom was indeed her man.

It remains unclear what transpired, thereafter.

-edaily

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Late night Kenyan drinkers welcome the outlawing of Alcoblow
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CNN’s Anthony Bourdain commits suicide at 61

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Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller and writer who recently visited Kenya to shoot his popular  Parts Unknown Show, died Friday at 61.

CNN confirmed his cause death as suicide. Bourdain, who was also a celebrity chef, took CNN viewers around the world with the popular TV program.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement Friday morning. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”
Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series “Parts Unknown.” His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.

Bourdain and his filming crew recently visited several Kenyan joints, including the RoadHouse Grill in Nairobi where they sampled nyama choma, Ugali and local beer, Tusker.

The  Grill, which is a popular nyama choma eatery, is owned by Robert Kingori who is a former Diasporian.

In his American travel and food show, Bourdain travels around the world exploring the culture and local food. The show primarily travels to lesser known places which most Americans may not have heard of.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Late night Kenyan drinkers welcome the outlawing of Alcoblow

From his Twitter page, the chef seemed to have enjoyed Tusker while in Nairobi.

The show which premiered on April 14, 2013 will mostly showcase him sampling delicacies that sometimes make viewers squirm. The show has won 5 Grammy awards.

Boardain was in Kenya working on the latest episode of his CNN TV series “Parts Unknown”. Over the course of an hour-long lunch, he sampled some of the Nyama Mama modern takes on traditional Kenyan foods with W Kamau Bell, the San Francisco-based comedian with whom he is filming this episode of the show.

“Our dream has always been to take Nyama Mama to an international audience” says Ninaa Shanghavi, Director of The Good Earth Company that owns of Nyama Mama, who was on hand at the restaurant to make sure Bourdain got the best out of his experience. “As such we feel that out of all the upmarket eateries in Nairobi, ours is the one best positioned to show Chef Anthony a new and fresh take on Kenyan food”.

The day Anthony Bourdain visited Kenya. PHOTO/COURTESY

 

Bourdain, who devoured his portion of ugali fries and seemed happy to dive into a steaming plate of grilled tilapia, was just coming from a a whirlwind tour of the city in which he has sampled some of the country’s unsung delights. Not eager to divulge whether it was goat’s head soup or mutura (blood sausage) that most tickled his fancy, he nonetheless did confide to have drunk a fair amount of Tusker lager since landing in JKIA last week.

He was a master of his crafts — first in the kitchen and then in the media. Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves. He advocated for marginalized populations and campaigned for safer working conditions for restaurant staffs.
Along the way, he received practically every award the industry has to offer.
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.”
“He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious,” the judges said. “People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.”
The Smithsonian once called him “the original rock star” of the culinary world, “the Elvis of bad boy chefs.”
In 1999 he wrote a New Yorker article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This,” that became a best-selling book in 2000, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.”
The book set him on a path to international stardom.
First he hosted “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network, then moved to “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on the Travel Channel. “No Reservations” was a breakout hit, earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.
In 2013 both Bourdain and CNN took a risk by bringing him to the news network still best known for breaking news and headlines. Bourdain quickly became one of the principal faces of the network and one of the linchpins of the prime time schedule.
Season eleven of “Parts Unknown” premiered on CNN last month.
While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work.
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” he said, “we tend to get some really astonishing answers.”
Bourdain’s death happened a few days after fashion designer Cate Spade hanged herself in an apparent suicide at her Manhattan apartment, New York . Spade was found hanged by a scarf she allegedly tied to a doorknob, an NYPD source said.
Suicide is a growing problem in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a survey Thursday showing suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds.
How to get help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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