ALUTA: How Nairobians are turning clubbing into a Sunday service

ALUTA: How Nairobians are turning clubbing into a Sunday service

  • A few months ago, after a long Saturday night, characterised by wanton drunkenness, Nairobi party lovers would totter home in the wee hours of Sunday morning eager to catch a wink.
  • But, over the last few months, a new clubbing phenomenon has been creeping into the Nairobi party scene and slowly pulling in a crowd that had, hitherto, been inconceivable.

A few months ago, after a long Saturday night, characterised by wanton drunkenness and hazy fits of shisha, Nairobi party lovers would totter home in the wee hours of Sunday morning eager to catch a wink and nurse their maddening bablas.

But, over the last few months, a new clubbing phenomenon has been creeping into the Nairobi party scene and slowly pulling in a crowd that had, hitherto, been inconceivable.

Aluta Sundays has now become a major Jamaica-inspired Sunday morning fiesta that sees revelers flocking to nightclubs as early as 6am to enjoy endless hours of unlimited reggae jamboree.

Unlike in the months of yore, when going home after a wild night was the order of the day, party animals are now kicking it through the night, binging hard, dancing harder and carousing till the alarms go off.

As early as 5am on any given Sunday morning, you'll see patrons still going at it, the DJ still rocking the place, waiters prancing up the pathways and gin-soaked girls lost in a timeless bubble of disorderly whoopee.

And as the morning approaches, clubs have now devised new ways to keep the crowds going - Aluta Sunday Service.

Originally a novelty, the idea is the brainchild of Loft Lounge owners Bonke and Steve Mark who, alongside popular reggae turntablist DJ Double Trouble, birthed Aluta Sundays to specifically cater to reggae lovers who just won't go home or who, for lack of a better thing to do on a Sunday morning, find it fit to quaff while Buju Banton blares from the speakers.

The idea has become such a massive hit with club owners that they have now created specific zones for Aluta Sundays.

Instead of hosting the events inside the club, Aluta lovers at Loft Lounge, for instance, are moved towards the parking area which, by Sunday morning, will have been cleared of all vehicles as staff arranges seats for the upcoming 'service.'

DJ Double Trouble and his team are also moved outside from where they set up their machines and the 'sermon' is ready to roll.

Quiver Lounge, also a popular joint on Thika Road, quickly absorbed the idea and even went ahead and launched the official Aluta party section, called 'Aluta Gardens' from where revelers party their Sunday blues away as DJ Moh Spice and his ilk lead the service.

“This specific kind of clubbing is designed for those people who for one reason or another do not want to go home and nurse their hangovers. The chilly morning weather helps them sober up even as they continue with clubbing,” DJ Trouble previously told a local publication.

“Other revelers who come here are people who know Monday is a work day so they want to party early and retire to bed early before the Monday blues."

Aluta Sundays has become such a roaring success that, according to DJ Trouble, a single session at Loft Lounge can sit up to 1,000 people or more.

Just last week, another popular nightclub along Mirema Drive, Paris Lounge, launched their own Aluta Sundays, a Sunday service that kicks off at 6am and even has free soup for party-goers.

Popular reggae DJ Baba Dede is the Paris Lounge official party bishop.

After Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja directed nightclubs to only be playing music till 10pm, Aluta Sundays now seems to have found even more converts as music-deprived party lovers can always look forward to the break of dawn to enjoy their favourite reggae tunes as normal church sermons continue in neighbouring churches.

"It's a beautiful idea. Napenda reggae sana and sometimes, you can't listen to it enough overnight because DJs tend to play alot of Afrobeat music. With Aluta, at least I get to enjoy my favorite music, drink early, get drunk early and I'm home by around 3pm ready for work tomorrow morning," Catherine Wangari, a patron, says.

And on whether Aluta Sundays is competing with churches for audiences, a DJ who declined to be named said it’s “impossible to compete with churches."

"Everyone likes what they like. If you are not a church person, you'll still not go to church even without Aluta Sundays and if you are a church person, you'll still go to church even with Aluta Sundays. We have our own target audience. In fact, most of the people who attend our event usually do so after leaving the church. They come here and enjoy a few beers, listen to music and go home. I don't find anything unholy with that," the unnamed DJ said to Citizen Digital.

After all is said and done, it looks like Aluta Sundays is the new reggae Sunday service and, after a tiring boozeroo Saturday night, it's only fair if you nurse your headaches with soft reggae tunes on a Sunday morning.

Tags:

Quiver Lounge Sunday Service Aluta Loft Lounge Paris Lounge

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