Within the early Seventies, I used to be in the course of my teenage years, and I used to be residing life within the quick lane. Younger and impressionable, I attempted my palms at many issues, some good, some not so good, and others I’d relatively not speak about. Once I put my thoughts to one thing, I immersed myself completely.
As early as 1966, after I was solely eleven, I used to be already using lengthy distances solo, on my bicycle, generally as much as 50km in a day. My favorite experience was from our residence at Karugu Property close to Kibichoi, to Riara Ridge to see my pal Owen at his residence in Black Bridge Farm.
By 1968, I had graduated from using a bicycle to a Vespa 90 scooter and the next yr I upgraded to a Vespa 150. In 1970, I upscaled once more to an actual motorbike, a Yamaha 180 avenue motorbike with which I participated in motorbike rallies, scrambles, and finally tarmac circuit racing at Embakasi and Nakuru racetracks in 1972.
The mid-Sixties was a interval of emancipation and liberal considering for younger folks within the western world, within the arts, music, dressing, and socialising. We witnessed the arrival of such phenomena as psychedelic music, artwork, liberal smoking of pot and different extra unique medicine, bell-bottom trousers, sizzling pants, music festivals equivalent to Woodstock, and lots of others.
Disco dancing began within the US within the mid-Sixties, and its reputation rose within the mid-Seventies. Initially, it was widespread with American club-goers, particularly homosexual folks, African Individuals, Latinos and psychedelic communities. The time period disco was coined from the French phrase discotheque which suggests a library of phonographic data.
In Kenya, we had simply achieved independence and there was a classy center class rising with a style for the finer issues in life, and the disposable revenue to assist it. There was a vibrant nightclub ambiance in Nairobi. Institutions equivalent to Starlight Membership, Hallians Membership, Membership 1900, Topaz Grill, Sal Davis Membership, The Stylish, and Sombrero have been widespread with a mixture of native and international patrons.
By the early Seventies, a brand new phenomenon within the type of “boogies” which have been dances held in the course of the day on weekends, had firmly established in Nairobi and one or two smaller cities, largely attracting school-going kids.
On the finish of 1973, I had simply accomplished my A-Ranges and secured vacational employment on the newly established Nationwide Financial institution of Kenya, incomes the princely wage of Sh.740 per 30 days which was barely beneath the edge for paying pay-as-you-earn. However by March 1974, I used to be admitted to Nairobi College.
I had many buddies lots of whom have been older than me and already engaged on a everlasting foundation. One such pal was Maurice Kariuki who was working with VOK (voice of Kenya). His pal the late Paul Koinange (RIP) had simply returned from his research within the US, and he introduced with him the most recent disco tools and vinyl data that includes chartbuster pop and soul music.
The thought of beginning a disco was floated by Paul and a location was recognized at Uhuru Park the place Jack “the Jew” was working a bar and restaurant referred to as Inn on the Park. Jack was a preferred man-about-town and he obtained on nicely with younger folks however operated on the fringes of the legislation.
Jack noticed that the disco would add worth to his enterprise and allowed Paul and Maurice to run the disco on Fridays and Saturdays. Since I used to be close by on the college, I used to be recruited as a deejay, and I loved spinning the discs and getting all people onto the dance ground.
My favorite hit to get issues going was Hollywood Swinging by Kool and the Gang, which had simply been launched within the US and boy did it get folks onto their toes!
We named our disco Cool Breeze as a result of the restaurant was located to the east of the boating pool and within the evenings, there was a cool breeze which blew over the water and into the open-plan premises. Our disco by no means obtained too sizzling even when it was crowded.
Cool Breeze disco would go on till the wee hours of the morning. One other pal, Dan Githegi (RIP), whom I had met at Alliance Excessive Faculty and who was a village mate of Maurice, would relieve me at any time when I took a break throughout these lengthy hours.
The disco attracted a really subtle clientele who have been dressed to kill, and gents got here accompanied by women of fine reputation. The women have been largely from the college and for some unusual cause I can’t recall now, we used to name them “yams.”
Our institution didn’t allow women of the twilight to enter. The duvet cost was Sh.5 which was fairly pricy by the requirements of the day and this in a approach acted as a pure filter.
Patrons carried themselves with dignity and we by no means skilled the altercations witnessed in different much less respected nightclubs. There was loads of safe parking and this was a robust promoting level.
Due to Paul’s expertise in America, our disco was very a lot influenced by the developments happening there and we at all times had the most recent music because it was launched.
Sadly, our landlord fell afoul of the legislation and the premises, which have been on lease from metropolis corridor, have been closed in the course of 1975.
What a visit down reminiscence lane!
I’m informed I nonetheless play loud music. Maybe my ears have been completely broken throughout my deejay days!