This elicited laughter from the congregation but what they didn’t know was the depth of that statement.
With a palatial home in the leafy suburbs of Karen, Fidel had a wide range of vehicles, most of them sports utility vehicles. If one can afford such a lifestyle, the only other thing to possess would be a firearm to protect yourself and your belongings.
This has become the trend for many young Kenyans Fidel’s age roughly between 30 and 40 years, mostly sons of politicians, successful celebrities and rich businessmen. What is interesting is the fact that these relatively young heavy spenders have formed a tightly knit network among themselves that transcends tribe and could loosely be described to hinge more on class than anything else.
Most of them only “hang out” with each other on a regular basis, blocking anyone who does not fit in or belong to the same class regardless of tribe or religion. To fit in, you must be from a similar social and economic stratum.
But how heavily do they splurge and where do they spend the money?
The answers can be found in high-end clubs in Nairobi and other major urban centres across the country. Other than the Capital Club, which is a members-only club, other venues they frequent regularly include Ebony Lounge, Skyluxx (VIP) Lounge, Mercury Club (ABC Place), Havana Club, Sohos, Vineyard and Cedars Restaurant, among others.
In these clubs, the average cost of a bottle of Hennessy, Martell, Remy Martin, Glenfiddich or Johnnie Walker brands like the Black Label, Gold Reserve and the Blue Label is anything between Sh10,000 and Sh30,000.
“An average of three to four bottles would be drunk on a night out,” says one of the club managers, who requested anonymity.
“These people are big spenders, they always reserve tables and they spend heavily. In one evening, they would spend anything between Sh60,000 to Sh150,000, depending on how many they are.”
Other than Fidel, who was not only known as a heavy spender but also a philanthropist, there are others like Jeff Kiboro, Robert Gichuru (son of former Kenya Power managing director), John Muhoho (son of former Kenya Airports Authority chairman George Muhoho), Mabior Garang de Mabior (son of former South Sudan leader John Garang).
Others include James Karanja, popularly known as Jaymo Keroche (son of Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja) and John Malogo, a popular young Nairobi businessman, among others.
According to Amor Thige, the proprietor of Ebony and Skyluxx lounges, this group does not stay in one club during a night out.
“In one sitting only they spend anything between Sh20,000 to Sh40,000. Now you can imagine how much they would spend if they went to four or five different joints in one night,” says Amor.
However, most of these heavy spenders don’t like frequenting clubs where there is the attendant risk of loss of privacy, especially when they want to avoid paparazzi. They prefer private parties in the leafy suburbs, says Morris Kihang’u, who has previously organised some of these parties.