Went to the most amazing party last week. We were invited to a leading Kenyan local supermarket chain’s staff party with 2,000 guests sitting down for a four course dinner. If you find it difficult to picture 2,000 in a room, imagine two football pitches crammed with tightly packed tables of ten, eight food stations and an awful lot of fairy lights. Free food, free drinks, the most popular stand up comics of the day (known as ‘Ridiculous’), dancers, singers and an Oscars style award ceremony.
All the branches of the store closed early that day and many were still in uniform having come straight from work. The atmosphere was electric as cash prizes were given out equally to all staff of the three top performing stores. Three government ministers were present and when called up on stage were suitably ribbed by the comedians; ‘Hey, Daktari! Kuja hapa!’ (the ‘daktari’/doctor prefix was ironic, as it’s their job to fix the nation – I liked that.) The minister for information was compelled to croon the popular tourist classic ‘Malaika’ to his wife for the benefit of the 2,000 strong audience. And all this on Sunday night.
The invitation stipulated 5pm-9pm and far from the drunken brawl that might have ensued, guests began to filter out into the night at 9pm prompt, presumably to begin the two or three hour walk home.