Uhuru's Favourite Hangout Spot Before Becoming President

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta dancing
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta dancing
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta disclosed his favourite beer to US Foreign Policy & Defense Correspondent for the Financial Times Katrina Manson in June during a live virtual interview. 

    President Kenyatta has spoken before about his favourite beer, Tusker. In 2017 when he turned 50 years old,  he also expressed his love for the lager. 

    According to Charles Njoroge, a man who had the rare opportunity of serving the president-to-be, Uhuru's had a taste for whisky, specifically Glenlivet, 18 years old.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (in red tie) with his Deputy William Ruto during the 2013 elections campaigns
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (in red tie) with his Deputy William Ruto during the 2013 elections campaigns
    File

    Njoroge was Uhuru’s barman at his favourite hangout spot and last served him two weeks before he became president and could no longer enjoy the luxury of spoiling himself at the joint named Caribana along Lenana Road in Kilimani. 

    Sadly the joint was closed a year after Uhuru stopped frequenting the club. 

    “He came every Sunday with a few friends. He would come and chat me up for five or 10 minutes, mostly politics then have his drink,” the barman told Business Daily in a past interview. 

    July 1, 2020, will mark six years from when Njoroge served the last customer at Caribana before closing down.

    His memories at the place will, however, stay etched in his mind forever. 

    Being an exclusive club, he encountered many powerful people and every night he would pour them alcohol to soothe their troubles and sometimes to celebrate achievements. 

    He interacted with the Queen Sonja of Norway, Prince William and his then-fiancée, Kate Middleton, the late Kofi Annan, footballer Samuel Eto'o, former President Mwai Kibaki as well as blue-chip companies’ CEOs.

    For some, the bar also served as a therapy clinic where Njoroge once talked a wealthy doctor out of shooting his wife.

    The doctor had just learned that his wife secretly withdrew Ksh150,000 from his account. Njoroge convinced him that spending the rest of his life in jail was not worth the risk since the doctor could make the same amount of money in a month.

    "I have counselled couples at the bar many times before and helped their marriages and those clients remain very good friends with me even now. One guy tipped me Ksh5,000 for talking to him about his marriage!" the barman recalled.

    He also had a peculiar client who would frequent the club and spend at least Ksh80,000 whenever she was there. 

    Most of the time the lady did not have company and would pop in thrice a week and ordered shots of a certain brand of alcohol that retailed for Ksh10,000. 

    Njoroge was trained in Utalii College and Italy and as such understood how to cater to his clients' different needs.

    "Wealthy people want a lot of attention, they expect everything and they expect attentive service. So you have to be very very smart when dealing with VIPs, not only because of their power and wealth but also because they are people who have gone into many big hotels in the world so they have some expectations," he explained.

    While Uhuru praises Tusker, his predecessor former President Kibaki bet on White Cap. Unlike Uhuru, many of his visits to the bar were kept under wraps. 

    He also maintained a close circle of friends who criticised him for not being generous enough. 

    Nyandarua Deputy Governor Waithaka Mwangi, during a past interview with The Standard, said “Kibaki only ordered for his drinks forgetting the persons sitting next to him. He attested to the fact that he would not overspend on his outings.”

    Former President Mwai Kibaki greets his successor Uhuru Kenyatta.
    Former President Mwai Kibaki greets his successor Uhuru Kenyatta.
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