Intoxicated and incoherent after two days of binge drinking in Nakuru over the Easter weekend, a Pulser passed out on the ground as his friends ignored him leaving him for â€˜deadâ€™.
Just a few metres from him, two girls were making out, locking lips and caressing each other in broad daylight as awed onlookers watched the â€˜lesbianâ€™ act. One half of the pair was to later explain that it was actually her sister and she was just â€˜showing her some loveâ€™ after they disagreed â€” yeah, I guess we all passionately lock lips whenever we disagree, right?
Another pair was making out inside a nearby packed automobile, only that in their throes of passion, they may have imagined the car was soundproof, which it wasnâ€™t as their romantic session attracted onlookers who stopped to watch the freebie movie moment.
Yet these were just snippets of the reality that transpired after thousands of Nairobians trooped to Nakuru for the now popular rugby tournament.
When Pulse unleashed some of the pictures of girls making out and drunken youth in drunken stupors and sexually-suggestive positions as others blacked out on the ground, it sparked an endless debate, of both outcry and laughter, as the â€˜victimsâ€™ hit our inbox, pleading with us to pull them down.
â€œJust a request, (is it) possible to have a photo from Nakuru pulled down? It belongs to one of my boys and well, it will go viral and generate â€˜dramaâ€™. LOL. Please let me know,â€ one read, while another one went:
â€œHi Pulse! Got a very humble request, Iâ€™ve been featured in your photos in Nakuru and its raising an alarm at my workplace. My request is that you kindly remove it for me for the sake of my job, thanks.â€
Facebook fans went on a rant, blasting the victims. Some accused â€˜these Nairobiansâ€™ of taking their bad habits to the otherwise quiet town.
Bloggers feasted on the story with popular gossip site, Ghafla! exposing the identities of the two girls, one of who works for a leading government institution.
By the time we pulled the pictures down, like bush fire, the story was making rounds across the globe.
Social events have become the new cool and the days of club partying seem to be a thing of the past as young fun lovers opt for the trendier social events, which seem to be a launching pad for fashion, new artistes and everything showbiz, as Pulsers bond.
From pioneer monthly social event Blankets and Wine to The Mingle and now The Circle, event organisers are making a kill from the new phenomenal as corporates wrestle to swing in partnership sponsorship.
In fact, the new outdoor entertainment offer has provided a reprieve in local entertainment as ordinary club concerts were long dead in Nairobi with artistes having to look farther to other towns.
That notwithstanding, these new theme events are fast creating a good cover for even underage school-going Pulsers to experiment with drugs, sex and alcohol, as peer pressure kicks in. The fact that the events are dubbed family shows has opened an opportunity for young people, who might not get a chance to go for night discos, to break every prohibited rule as parents remain in the dark on the practices their teens are getting into in these recreation spots
These events have also become runways where people showcase fashion, even bordering on the crazy. Many will remember Dennis Oliech and his stilleto-like shoes at Blankets and Wine, which generated a lot of buzz about his sexuality. Then, as if that was not enough, he showed up at the next event in a skirt.
Even as the events organisers strive to maintain sobriety among the thousands who throng these venues to unwind, our investigations reveal that substance abuse is also becoming a norm with fresh â€˜coolâ€™ innovations of the marijuana cookies, sweets, cakes and other junk munchies as well as drug laced shisha becoming the new high in town.
Inevitably, every event has its own fair share of unintended happenings that are not associated with the eventsâ€™ themes.
Blankets and Wine
Now in its 43rd edition, Blankets and Wine â€” the brainchild of artiste Muthoni DQ â€” has evolved from being a simple outdoor relaxation event for families, to a phenomenon with fanatical following that has seen Pulsers misbehaving to unimaginable extremes. While the mature folks use the outdoor event as a bonding and networking point as they exchange ideas over lesos and drinks â€” watching the rendition of both local and international artistes â€” the same cannot be said about the other class of young people who attend such events with ulterior motives.
â€œThis event has harboured everyone from the weirdest of characters to the crazies of them. Besides music and partying, I have seen young kids engage in drugs and inappropriate sexual activities. Thatâ€™s perhaps the reason why parents cannot stand this kind of demeanour, forcing them to exit the venues before sunset,â€ explains a fan.
Blankets and Wine head of marketing and communications Boniface Mwalii shares a different opinion.
â€œBlankets started as a platform for live African music performance. Apart from the Afro-zouq fans, over the years, we have refined Blanketsâ€™ to accommodate everyone but still ensure good moral and social standards while noting that everything is practiced within the law. Granted there are some people who have taken this event to engage in crazy stuff, we have monitoring mechanisms that allow us to ensure the event progresses smoothly. We have come across people who smoke weed and the security always arrests such. Parents have also complained about such happenings,â€ says Mwalili.
According to Mwalii, families who come for the event can still watch the main performances as they take place early on Sunday afternoons. The areas for adults and kids are nowadays defined and separate from each other; there is kid zone, music and party areas for music lovers and the bar area for the bottle lovers.
A first of its kind â€” the Mingle, hosted by Adrenaline in Motion, offered an avenue for professionals to meet, exchange cards and at the same time play games. Heck the eventâ€™s motto has a philosophical backing. With its tenth edition going down next weekend, this popular bi-monthly event is almost losing its original theme.
â€œI think it provides a great opportunity for guys to hook up and mingle though currently itâ€™s more of a show-off event where guys come to get drunk and act stupid. There is crazy stuff going on: I have seen chics fighting over guys and weird dress codes all over,â€ confesses a Pulser. â€
Ahmed Mikwa of The Mingle has a different sentiment altogether. â€œThe Mingle is an event where people get to socialise and network. This issue of kids gracing the event is not true because no one under the age of 21 is allowed inside, and identity cards are produced before entry,â€ he states.
The rock heads too, have their own rock festivals. Case in point is the Battle of the Bands and the bi-annual Ramps and Amps, now in its fifth edition.
â€œRamps and amps event is all about extreme sports and rock music that brings together young guys below the age of 25. The feedback has been positive and we are planning a massive one for this year,â€ explains Vincent Ogola founder of Extreme Outdoor Performance Kenya. However, the events have also seen teens behaving badly too by inappropriately engaging in kissing pleasures and other sexual activities.
Started by Bernard Kioko of Bernsoft Entertainment and a host of other celebrities such as Shaffie Weru, Avril, Porgie, Amileena, Collo and Sarah Hassan among others, The Circle is now in its second edition and is quickly becoming the talk of the town.
This outdoor gig has its unique mode of partying that includes various eye-catching activities such as model auctions, its infamous wet T-shirt competitions and performances.
â€œFirst of all, The Circle is not an event, itâ€™s a social media movement. In fact, auditions for the next month are ongoing and its either you are invited, or not. That is why The Circle does not advertise on media. Secondly, The Circle offers totally unique entertainment services and invites showbiz leaders,â€ explains Shaffie Weru.
Asked for his comments on what transpires there: â€œMost events lack regulations and underage drinking and sexual activities are on the rise in these events. Events are healthy, but with no regulations, they will just die off.â€
-Pulse Magazine Kenya