MIREMA DRIVE: Inside The Notorious Las Vegas Of Nairobi

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Nairobi, with all of its infamous glory and stubborn notoriety, understands only two languages – money and power.

This town, packed with intransigent drunkards and loudmouthed rascals, leaves very little room for timid chaps, running their business honestly and eking a silent living.

Here, the brash, the brutal and the brave survive.

Over the weekends, this city roars to life, an almost feral form of life, with tiny VW golfs choking the traffic, beguiling girls lapping up the sun, thuggish barons storming the clubs and noisy nightclubs tearing up the night sky .

With the exception of a few other city estates, no estate quite exemplifies the wantonness, depravity, debauchery and vicious lawlessness of Nairobi like Mirema Drive.

An unassuming stretch of rangy apartments, a stench of stale liquor, mannerless drivers and a litany of nightspots, Mirema Drive is the Wild Wild West of Nairobi – an area that welcomes the night with fervour, chaos and a frighteningly insane tone of sexual rebelliousness.

Almost half of this part of the world is made up of an endless row of spruced-up airbnbs, going for as little as Ksh. 2000 a night and which see a thronging of hundreds of lecherous tenants from as early as Friday afternoon.

By 3pm Friday afternoon, Mr. Jim Githae (not his real name) says that little girls, like a jumpy Japanese spitz, troop into the apartment he manages, which, almost entirely, consists of Airbnbs, from the first floor to the last.

“Here, business kicks off early Friday afternoon. I manage this apartment, that has around six floors and over 20 studio apartments and one bedrooms. Here, men call me as early as Thursday evening, book the rooms from wherever they are, and send the girls to inspect and tour the rooms before they arrive later in the night. Totally drunk, high on drugs and even violent.”

Along this godforsaken street, exists a dizzying cocktail of raucous night clubs and liquor stores which have made life hell for the hundreds of the tenants living in the neighbourhoods.

By around 9pm Friday night, traffic along Mirema Drive grinds to a raging halt, with hundreds of cars locked in a seemingly endless tussle for space, people hooting for hours on end and with the gridlocks lasting for hours as cars skid around, taking detours into various nightspots, as cacophonous music, blaring from the confusing smorgasbord of cars, leaving you dazed.

While the motor insanity ensues, rickety motorbikes snake in and out, their annoying tooting shrilling away, with drunkards hopping onto and out of them, with a few swear words flying across and about.

By midnight, this neighbourhood is now on a full-on Medellín Cartel mode – everyone’s now superiorly drunk, suave chaps, with a manicured goatee and dripping with filthy lucre, have now officially annexed the region, flashing their obviously illicit ‘bitcoin’ money and clearing the shelves of any and every bottle of Martell.

Impossibly-gorgeous women, dressed to the nines and smelling like they’ve been doused with a bottle of Coco Mademoiselle and looking like they’re on the set of a Colin Tyler music video, litter the area, staying around for the entirety of the weekend, talking dirty, drowning pricey cognac and bullying their way into the wee hours.

For those that may not afford the rather steeper prices in the clubs, Mirema Drive happily offers a buffet of swanky liquor stores, lining the entire road, that come equipped with a manageable sitting area, allowing drunks to buy cheap thrills and enjoy them on the spot.

These liquor stores sometimes also act as hors d’oeuvres, where you can go, knock down a quarter bottle of local gin before you totter into any of the nightclubs around you.

From around Mirema School driving up, garish lights blind you, much like the city of New York, perfectly encapsulated by Jay Z in the immortal lines, “Lights is blinding, girls need blinders… The city never sleeps, better slip you’re a Ambien…”

And on a lazy afternoon, while kids are being dropped off from school and women are busy running the corner shop, a brazen daylight murder will happen.

It will be captured on camera as the shooter pumps tens of bullets in his victim – while passersby watch, horrified.

Infact, so notorious is this part of Thika Road, that the Mirema Association of Tenants has actually taken the entire party strip to court, seeking to have the closure of the entire club conglomerate, and to tone down the madness for the sake of a normal night.

Just like the famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, Mirema Drive maintains similar popularity, and while it lacks the Rodeo Drive’s elegance and picturesque blocks, it sure does pull in the city and has remained notorious for the savoir-faire crowd which troops here for thrills, fun and wild memories.


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