Hosted by Goethe-Institut, contemporary artist Michael Soi presents a series of 17 paintings celebrating women from all over Nairobi, bringing you different takes on the...
At the 2013 Taste Awards, the Ciroc Award for Mixologist of the Year was a tie between Alex Kavitha from CinCin at Norfolk, Fairmont and Emmanuel Babu from the Nest at Tribe Hotel. Therefore we decided pit the two winners against each other and get their suggestions for cocktails we find useful.
Alex Kavitha, CinCin at Norfolk, Fairmont
Most sophisticated cocktail : JP - L’Amour De La Vie
Inspired by JP or Jaceline Pearce, best known to television audiences as the villainous Servalan from the fondly remembered Blake’s Seven (BBC 1978-1981). This cocktail consisting of Ciroc Vodka, Muddled White Grapes and Rosemary Herb and Lime Juice, was made to commemorate JP and her extraordinary life in the African bush and it aptly reflects her character; soft and subtle but bold. It’s a great cocktail to start your evening or to impress your lady of the evening. As invented by Alex Kavita, all the ingredients are shaken together and poured into chilled Martini glasses.
The quick drunk : Bull Frog and Long Island Ice Tea
The drink that is least likely to leave you with a hangover: Dry Smirnoff Black Martini Cocktail (Not shaken, just stirred)
The cocktail that will impress your guests: Better than the Dash It consists of Jack Daniel, Martini Rosso ,Benedictine, Southern Comfort, Cherry Brandy, Vanilla essence, Rose flower syrup, bitter, pineapple juice and egg white. All shaken together poured over lots of ice in a tall glass.
Emmanuel Babu, Nest at Tribe Hotel
Most sophisticated cocktail: Martini
It is simple yet delicate and classic. It makes me think of a James Bond movie, “Shaken or stirred.” Garnished with a lemon twist or olive, it is best served dirty or straight up. The Martini’s diversity is what makes it so sophisticated.
The quick drunk: A Long Island Ice Tea/ Head Banger or Rusty Nail
Drink least likely to leave you with a hangover: All of Emmanuel’s cocktails! The rule is to choose a cocktail with the least amount of artificial sugar and top it up with soda water. Finally; hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Cocktail that will impress your guests: It depends on time of day, gender of guest and rapport. My all-time favorite is the “Ménage a trois”: Jack Daniels, Grand Marnier and Blue Curacao put together with fresh strawberries, orange, lemon and pineapple to bring an orgasmic outburst of flavors. With cocktails it’s also always in the delivery; “Lights, camera, action”.
What does it take to be a great Mixologist?
Alex Kavitha, CinCin at Norfolk, Fairmont: ‘Mixologist' denotes an approach to drink mixing with an attention to detail or particular appreciation of quality. Anyone in the hospitality business can be a bartender but not anyone can just be a Mixologist. To be a great Mixologist you need to understand the flavours and texture of the drink and which ingredients perfectly integrate with different flavours and beverages. You need to be creative in bringing new flavours together, keep your eye on new spirits and what’s going on in the world of drink creation. Experiencing new flavours.
Emmanuel Babu, Nest at Tribe Hotel:
Passion--that’s the word. Once you have passion and the drive the rest is quite easy. It drives you to want to improve on what’s already been done.
If your Saturday night was not spent at Ngong racecourse for the “Jameson Live Party”, you should know that reading this review will probably be like rubbing salt into a wound because you missed out. Epic is the only word that can adequately describe this most eventful affair which celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and drew the likes of, Tujuane’s Malonza, Kiko Romeo’s Ann Mcreath and Kiss FM’s Shaffie Weru among many others.
Dj Stylez killed it with a live drummer accompanying his showcase, and then the conspicuously dressed dancers, who wore white, suddenly appeared and moved enthusiastically to Dj Neptune’s set. The Techno/House lovers were ecstatic with Dj Sheero’s mix of hits, which saw a lot of fist pumps and jumps. Throughout this action were happy party rockers sipping on some Jameson – every ticket holder received a 350ml bottle – and the people surely rejoiced.
By the time DJ Babey Drew (Chris Brown’s official DJ) came on stage, even the cool kids got to their feet for a dance because he rocked the crowd. In short, Jameson + DJs + Hype Crowd = One awesome event.
Violent crime is a serious offence in Nairobi bringing fear, trauma and sometimes death to its many victims. However, the current law on the subject has far-reaching language that ensnares misdemeanor offenders and seriously raises the question whether the punishment always fits the crime. Many end up serving life in prison for as little as snatching a phone.Kenya’s judicial system is, in some instances, harsher than the archaic Old Testament Law of Moses, which advocates ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’. The disproportion between crime committed and punishment rendered is so great that it is often easier to get away with murder than with robbery. The threshold for what makes a crime “robbery with violence” is so low that a lot of small-time thieves find themselves on the death row for snatching a phone.
In the period 2004-2007 alone, 15,265 people were convicted of robbery with violence. That is almost 4,000 people every year, condemned to die (which in the Kenyan Judicial system becomes life in prison, not actual execution). One grueling example is Pauline Amana, a 31-year old former beauty queen from Lodwar, who was sentenced to death for robbery with violence. Once crowned Miss Langata, Amana has been in prison for 12 years now. According to Amana, her mistake was to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong people. She was in the company of her boyfriend when he robbed a shopkeeper in Lodwar town of a day’s earnings. But in the eyes of the law, Amana had fully satisfied one of the legal requirements for a crime to qualify as robbery with violence.
And for that she was sentenced to death. “Any person who commits robbery is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years,” says Gerry Gitonga, a Nairobi lawyer and a partner at Azania Legal Consultants. “But, as prescribed in section 296/2 of the penal code, if the offender in the robbery is armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, or if he is in the company of one or more other people or if immediately before or after the robbery, he wounds, beats, strikes or uses any other personal violence to any person, then the crime is robbery with violence and the offender is liable to the death sentence.” In Amana’s case, all she needed to do was be in the company of the offender.
“The law does not distinguish between anyone who would choose to spare the life of his victim and anyone who would indiscriminately kill any number of victims while carrying out his robbery,” says Gitonga. For a person to be charged with murder and sentenced to death, a death has to have occurred, but with robbery with violence, death is immaterial, sometimes even actual robbery is immaterial – as in the case of attempted robbery with violence – yet the sentence is still death. In other of words, two men who snatch a mobile phone from their victim, and another two men who walk into a bank, shoot everyone dead and walk away with millions of shillings, if caught, both parties would be charged with robbery with violence and all of them sentenced to death.
“I strongly feel that there needs to be proportionality between crime committed and penalty attracted. This is a law whose philosophy is really a case of the rich Vs the poor. To me, this death sentence, especially for those accused of a robbery with violence is too severe. You take away my Nokia 3310, the State takes away your life!” Says Gerry Gitonga. Another kicker is the fact that anyone charged with murder is entitled to legal representations provided by the state; a privilege that is not granted those who are charged for robbery with violence.
In late 2011, John Swaka, the Nairobi legal officer for CLEAR (Christian Legal Education Aid and Research) went to the High Court, ‘acting on behalf of persons charged in any subordinate court in Kenya with a capital offense attracting the death penalty,’ he had said in his affidavit. In his submissions, Swaka, had argued that those accused of ‘capital robbery’ had a unique position in Kenya’s criminal justice system in that they have their liberties restricted to the same extent as all other capital offenders, but did not enjoy the same trial system. He also observed that the elements of the robbery with violence crime create a very low threshold for conviction. And seeing that robbery is very common, it meant that a lot of people faced the death penalty, but without any legal representation.
“For a criminal, the case against them would be easier if they commit murder than if they just robbed,” says Swaka. “It would be easier to get away with murder than with robbery with violence.” Swaka had sought to compel the High Court to rule that all robbery with violence cases would henceforth be heard in the High Court where legal representation at the State’s expense would be provided. But in the ruling delivered on 18 January 2013, Swaka’s petition was dismissed. The high court ruled that it did not have the jurisdiction to decide that robbery with violence cases were to be heard only by the high court and not by the Magistrate courts.
And so the status quo is maintained. As for Pauline Amana, her death sentence has since been commuted to life in prison by a presidential decree. But in Kenya, life in prison means just that: A life in prison until death without the option of parole.
Nameless, Mambo Mbotela, Patricia Amira and Boniface Mwangi among other Kenyan celebrities join hands in a YouTube video promoting peace. With election results having trickled in slower than Kenya has ever experienced, the web sphere has suddenly become flooded with many anxious and idle roomers.
Therefore it is good to take a step back and remember the message of peace as we await the results. The video titled, Kenyan Celebrities United for Peaceful Elections and posted by the Wazi Campaign (also featured in our February issue) took to the internet (where a lot of raw information including hate speech and rumors are currently being circulated) to promote their peace campaign. “I am happy that for the whole week people have been waiting for results peacefully at Kibera.
It makes me feel like I have done something. It doesn’t matter who wins this election, it’s just a different person governing the office of the President. Your office is your job and family so I urge all Kenyans to go back to work,” says Kibera-born and raised rapper Octopizzo, also part of the peace campaign. The Wazi Campaign was initiated in 2006 from an inspiration that change can only happen to one person at a time.
“When we fight as a country, who wins?” That’s one of the short yet powerful messages delivered by Kenyan celebrities, cutting across from musicians, talk show hosts, comedians, activists to thespians. The entire UP Magazine crew joins forces with the Wazi Campaign and all Kenyans and various stakeholders parading the important message of peace and calm, regardless of who becomes Kenya’s fourth President. Catch the Wazi short videos on all TV Channels as well as For Theatres after the national anthem, watch the Celebs Peace video here
The elections are around the corner and we are all praying for a peaceful affair. There are those who have taken it upon themselves to make a special effort to promote an agenda of peace so we can venture in the streets quietly come Election Day and weeks that follow. We want to applaud these ambassadors of peace; promote their projects; and engage You (our esteemed reader), in the process. That is why we are dedicating the month of February to find Nairobi’s #1 Peace Ambassador. For this we need your input and engagement. Go to UPNairobi. com to nominate or vote for that special person you believe deserves to take the prize.
We have started the nominations with a few people we think deserve recognition for their work. Sophie Umazi, Founder, I am Kenyan 19 year-old Sophie Umazi is the founder of the project “I am Kenyan”, and together with her young and dedicated team she is using photography to promote reconciliations and individual responsibility for peace during the upcoming elections To “Stand Up For Peace”, individuals take a photo of themselves with the caption “I am Kenyan” and upload it onto iamkenyan. com or on their Facebook page. The pictures are blown up to black and white posters that will be posted on various media platforms including social media, newspapers, billboards and television adverts across the country.
For more info go to iamkenyan.or.ke Amy Onyonyi, CEO, Teens 4 Peace This 15 year-old CEO of the non-profit organization Teens 4 Peace has taken the lead to engage teenagers in combating tribal and ethnic differences. The organization wants to spread the word of peace through its teenage members. So far, Amy has been a part of raising KES 1.2 million for the Freedom From Hunger project and won a trophy from the Top 40 under 40 awards ceremony, (2012), for her fundraising efforts to push the organization’s agenda forward. Amy is also the youngest ever recipient of the Head of State Commendation (HSC). John Adoli, Director, Kibera Hamlet As the director of the community-based organization, Kibera Hamlet, John Adoli is involved in promoting peace on many different fronts. Through positive encouragement and support, Kibera Hamlet, serves 150 underprivileged adolescents and children, hoping to foster young people in Kibera that will promote sustainable peace and development in their communities “I was born and lived in Kibera, I had a very poor background [but] wanted to change [things],” Adoli says of his involvement in community development.Kibera Hamlet is also part of the “Kibera Walls for Peace”, a partnership with international artist and educator Joel Bergner, and project coordinator Mia Foreman.
The project have 50 Kibera youth studying peace-building and art, helping create murals all over Kibera that promote peace and reconciliation leading up to the elections. “We are also involved with the Rift Valley Railways [because] we are painting peace messages on trains,” informs Adoli. “Different people can get involved [with the organization] especially with the upcoming elections,” he concludes. Rachel Brown, Founder & CEO-Sisi ni Amani Kenya (SNA-K) Rachel Brown came to Kenya as part of her coursework in 2009, just after the 2007/8 election violence.
Through acquaintances and observation, she was able to identify the main drivers and patterns of inter-ethnic and political violence in the country. In 2010, with local peace builders she set up Sisi ni Amani Kenya, (We are Peace) an organization that uses communication to foster peace. The organization gets members of the community to subscribe for free text messages, which are sent to engage communities peacefully in the election process and to prevent and mitigate violence. They currently operate in Eastlands (Baba Dogo, Korogocho, Dandora, Mathare, Huruma, Kariobangi North, Kamukunji), Narok County, Sotik, Transmara West, Burnt Forest, Eldoret and Nakuru.
“What Sisi ni Amani is doing in the lead up to the next general elections… is working to use those same communication channels that before were used to incite violence to instead walk communities peacefully through elections,” she says. Juliani, Musician The man has been busy in 2012, campaigning on the campuses with his “Kama Si Sisi” initiative that is targeting young people in an effort to encourage them to be actively involved in their community and country. Under the “Kama Si Sisi” banner he has launched the Voters vs. Vultures campaign that is specifically targeting young people leading up to the elections.
Juliani’s single with the same name is expected to drop in February 2013, and with the obvious link to Boniface Mwangi’s “Ma-Vulture” campaign we are expecting a cameo from the original agitator against the vulture politicians.