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Amazing story of oldest bar in Mombasa



When Kilindini Bar was established, way back in 1908, there was no brewery in the country.

The only beers available were imported from South Africa, Europe and Japan, and they cost 75 cents.

Even more fascinating is that the drinking joint has been owned by the same family.

On the walls of the pub hang photos of beers that were sold way back in 1928.

The clientele of mostly elderly people has a characteristic that fits the pub’s old age: they hardly make noise.

The antique furniture of the two-room bar is conspicuous. Old counters and stools, made from teak, have escaped the wrath of termites and withstood the test of time.

Old cigarette posters, bottle models of whiskeys, wines and beers still have pride of place on the bar shelves, all symbolic of history. You can play darts here.

Part of the bar’s brochure reads, “Men associated with the growth of port and island over half a century have discussed their problems over its counter.”

Ronald Ngala, a Kenyan politician who was the leader of the Kenya African Democratic Union, and Ernest Hemingway, an American novelist, are among the personalities who visited Kilindini Bar for a quiet drink and to have a good time.

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The bar has had only one owner — the De Souza family. The current owner is Maura De Souza Abranches, who took over the business after the death of her sister Grace De Souza in 2016.

She runs the premise with her husband, Clarence Abranches, a retired accountant.

The bar is located on Mwakilingo Street, formally known as Sharifbhai.

Taking us down memory lane, Ms Abranches says that her grandfather came to East Africa in 1898 and joined a firm called Smith Mackenzie & Company as a shipping clerk.

Their offices were located at Ndia Kuu Old Town, Mombasa. Her grandfather bought the premises in 1908.

“During the colonial period, the bar exclusively admitted the Whites and Asians, no Africans were allowed,” Ms Abranches says.

She recalls her father telling her that he was fined Sh4,000 for serving beer to an African man.

Apparently, the business was mainly run on credit, where a customer could partake of his choice of beer and pay at the end of the month.

“It was not a wise business model because many customers vanished without paying bills,” Maura owns.

Near the bar counter is pendulum clock that is almost as old as the establishment, having been bought in 1910. It has to be reset every week.

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Though the interior of the bar has remained largely the same over the decades, besides a few touches of modernity, such as a television set to cater for football fans, the outside is definitely not what it was.

We are told that trees and bushes surrounded the bar, and it was common to spot wild animals. This of course, is no longer the case.

Sadly, this fascinating piece of history will be no more once building of the proposed Likoni Bridge, estimated to cost Sh80 billion, commences.

“We have already been given notice to vacate the premises,” Ms Abranches says.

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Chebukati weighs in on BBI report  




The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati has given his two cents on the controversial BBI report.

Chebukati criticized ODM leader Raila Odinga and other stakeholders who came up with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, for portraying the election body as single handedly being the issue in every divisive election cycle.

He further lashed out at the BBI team for using the IEBC as a scapegoat through a statement on Friday the 23rd of October 2020.

He also condemned the changes the BBI report is proposing on the IEBC.

“IEBC notes that it has been singled out as the only independent commission and indeed entity whose establishment is sought to be removed by way of the proposed changes in the bbi report under divisive elections thematic area,” he said.

According to Chebukati, the BBI is counteracting some of Kenya’s gains in the election process.

“Additionally, the report claws back on the gains made over the years on electoral management in kenya. This targeted onslaught against the commission is not new as it has been occurring after every general election since 1992.

The sustained campaigns weaken and interfere with the independence of the commission which is guaranteed under article 88 as read together with article 248 and 249 of the constitution of Kenya 2010,” he added.

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Raila has repeatedly called for changes on IEBC starting with commissioners.

According to him, this will increase people’s faith in the independent Commission.

The ODM leader also proposes that IEBC officials should only be in the office for only a three-year term.

They can, however, renew it only once if their tenure was transparent and effective.

The BBI also proposes to do away with the IEBC vice chairperson post who acts when the chairman is absent.

The report also proposes the change of titles to fewer titles such as Head of Department instead of the Director.

Returning officers should also only serve for one general election according to the BBI.

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Ezekiel Mutua hits at Pope Francis after endorsing same-sex civil unions




Kenya Film Classification Board C.E.O Ezekiel Mutua has hit out at Pope Francis following his remarks on same-sex marriage.

In an interview for his upcoming film dubbed “Francesco” which premiered on Wednesday, October 21, the head of the Catholic Church endorsed same-sex civil unions.

He pointed out that homosexuals are also children of God who need families and should be protected by law.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” he was quoted in CBS News.

KFCB boss took an issue with the Pope stating that a leader of such stature cannot endorse what is against the order of nature and God’s creation.

He added that Pope Francis should be condemned.

“A leader of the stature of the Pope cannot endorse what’s clearly against the order of nature and God’s plan for family and procreation.

“If he did, he should be condemned and his statement taken with a pinch of salt,” he stated on Saturday, October 24.

Ezekiel Mutua went on to defend Pope Francis saying that he does not believe that he meant to endorse gay union and he might have been misquoted.

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He added that however if he indeed meant what he said then his advice should be ignored.

“I honestly do not believe that Pope Francis meant to endorse same-sex marriage, but if he did, then he’s grossly wrong and his advice should be ignored. I believe his statement was in the context of “gay human rights” but not the practice of homosexuality,” he added.

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Churchill speaks tough on people accusing him of being behind comedians’ woes




Churchill Show host Daniel “Churchill” Ndambuki has rebuked Kenyans who blame him for the comedians’ woes.

Addressing mourners during the burial of the late Ben Maurice Omondi, popularly known as Othuol Othuol, the laugh industry director said that he started the Churchill Show with the aim of realizing opportunities among talents and not oppressing them.

Ndambuki previously attracted backlash from his fans when Churchill comedians are faced with depression or misfortunes.

He said that the wrath should be directed to the government and not him.

Churchill noted that he is just a common Kenyan who had a small dream and whose ambition was to change the lives of as many Kenyans as possible by helping them realize their dreams.

He added that the government had shown less effort in nurturing and supporting talented young Kenyans.

The comedian stated that the reason Kenyans bash Churchill Show each time something happens to the comedians is that it’s the only platform that they get to be seen, yet the government should be doing a lot to the comedians and added that he is neither the government nor has he ever been funded by the government.

Ndambuki also urged the comedians to make use of the social media platforms to build their brands and let their content known as well as earning a living.

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Churchill has a number of times found himself on the receiving end with Kenyans recently accusing him of ‘misusing’ comedians resulting in depression that leads to their death.

In July, Female Churchill Show comedian Zeddy alleged that comedians in the Show only get paid if their art is aired on TV.

According to Zeddy, some comedians perform for months, but their shows never get aired, despite the expenses they incur trying to get on TV, which has thrown many into depression.

Othuol Othuol died on Sunday last week after a long battle with pulmonary Tuberculosis and brain Tumor.

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