Hip hip hooray! How Kenyans lose their decorum on New Year’s Eve

At entertainment spots, it will be a moment of reckless abandon [Photo: Shutterstock]

At the stroke of midnight tomorrow, people the world over will go bonkers in the name of “ushering in the new year”. Most will either be in church or at entertainment joints, with a few in their houses, most likely meditating.

Whatever the case, most Kenyans will experience some temporary madness of sorts, with some, high as a kite, howling and screaming like lunatics. Others will scream their lungs out and kick and punch the air in excitement just because they “made it” into the new year.

In churches, millions will get carried away, and will sing and dance and speak in tongues, thanking the Almighty for life. Others will be overcome by emotion and will collapse and writhe. Others will simply ‘receive’ whatever blessings are thrown their way by the pastor.

At entertainment spots, it will be a moment of reckless abandon, with some puking on tables, peeing and crapping in their pants as they curse the torturous 2019 and toast to its end.

Others, weird as it may sound, will ensure that the symbolic midnight finds them deeply engrossed in the throes of passion, wildly ploughing away as if their survival in the new year depends on it!

“Please, no catching feelings on that night! Dignity, my foot! That is the only time nobody should get offended if someone spills beer on them or topples the table over, with expensive drinks going to waste. Heck, we will be ushering in a new year!” Nathan chuckles, vowing to let loose tomorrow night like never before.

He says that even in church, where you expect some decorum, brethren will loose control and wail like owls and howl like wolves.

“Some people want to start the new year with blessings and will be in church. For those who don’t know how to speak in tongues, expect them to not only pray and sing and dance, all manner of noises will be made in celebration,” says Nathan.

Some people want to start the new year with blessings [Photo: Shutterstock]

But if you thought Kenyans were only celebrating the fact that they had crossed over into 2020 alive and kicking, think again.

“I always usher in the new year with friends at entertainment joints, and revellers always do all sorts of weird things, including drinking more than enough alcohol, only to strip and dance naked or fight with strangers out of excitement,” says Paul, a taxi driver.

He adds that some people chew blackouts in the process, only to wake up in the new year with no cash in their pockets. Or drink themselves silly and engage in all sorts of oddities, like a crazy case he once witnessed.

“A man unashamedly whipped out his weapon of mass procreation and proceeded to pee on the Christmas tree at his in-laws, as his mother-in-law tried to stop him in vain,” he laughs.

Some, according to Muema, a city-based marketer, will wail and scream “Happy New yeaaaar” and shout like obsessed individuals because their worlds will be ending, at least, financially speaking.

“After spending on Christmas and on the festivities in general with inflated up-country trips, blowing up cash meant for school fees on decorating Christmas trees as if there is no January, what else is a man to do at the stroke of midnight on 31st, other than wail with the rest, albeit in frustration,” wonders Muema, while joking that the government should intervene by subsidising first term school fees.

According to the self-confessed cynic, with no money to start out with in the new year, some men will scream their lungs out to vent the prospects of a torturous January as they curse why they got married.

“Some men will wake up irritable and with massive hangovers on the 1st of January and regret  having families and relatives. Come January, most married men wish they were bachelors with no financial responsibilities,” says Muema.

Some men will scream their lungs out to vent [Photo: Shutterstock]

According to Sigei, a Nairobi resident, another reason why some Kenyans will experience that temporary insanity around December 31 is that they will not believe they are alive!

In this country, Sigei says, anything and everything is an agent of death: “From the beautiful stranger who hits on you in a night club to your own wife or husband; boy, oh boy we all know the rampancy of killer spouses in this country, reckless matatu drivers, mercury-laced sugar and all”.

Put differently, Kenyans are always looking over their shoulders, January to December, the journalist agonises. In his view, around here, the poor worry about food, survival or just their existence from dawn to dusk.

“Others are in shaky relationships and marriages or in unstable jobs. Basically, these Kenyans live throughout the year not knowing when they will be fired, dumped, divorced or killed. So clearly, you can see why that midnight madness is justified,” Sigei laughs.

“We all fear death. Throughout the year, as some people died or survived death by a whisker or got maimed in accidents or in the hands of thugs, some of us will be ending the year safely. Thus, those wails will be a form of appreciation to the Almighty for protecting us.”

He adds that screaming, “Happy New Year, Happy New Year ...” repeatedly is just a Kenyan way of sighing, “Phew! At least armed robbers, bandits, reckless matatu drivers, deadly bacteria, witchcraft, cattle rustlers, stray bullets spared me!”

It’s, however, important to note that the new year is a bag of mixed fortunes to some people. Not everyone is happy. To some, it brings a lot of shame and embarrassment.

Take, for instance, that busybody in your office who always criticises the employer, gossips about the boss, whines about how low the pay is and incites colleagues.

The dude yaps to no end about how boring the workplace is, swearing to everyone who cares to listen that he will resign at the end of the year, only for him to sheepishly crawl into the office in the new year, to the amusement of everyone.

The dude yaps to no end about how boring the workplace is? [Photo: Shutterstock]

What’s more, the fellow brags about the many better job opportunities he has “out there” and makes it look like his human resource and expertise is the best thing to happen to the employer since sliced boflo!

The scoundrel now has nowhere to hide his embarrassed face. He is now a laughing stock. Each time he walks by, colleagues will giggle, exchange knowing looks and mumble to each other, “Look at that idiot. Isn’t he the same bugger who was parroting about resigning?”

There are those who will scream, “Happy New Year” in celebration because they have been screwing other people’s wives, husbands and, gross as it sounds, their mothers-in-law or fathers-in-law and, yay, another year has lapsed without being caught!

Better yet, there are men who secretly installed a second or even third wife on the other side of town or have been banging the house girl and, wow, another year has rolled over without their wives discovering that dirty little secret or their new bae getting pregnant.

Of course, such types have every reason to be thrown into delirium and scream in celebration. For others, it will be a “Happy New Year!” because they sired a child with a secret lover and their husbands have been raising the kid without knowing and another year has lapsed just like that without the cat getting out of the bag.

For some men, it will a “Happy New year” because they impregnated the house girl and another year has lapsed, without her confiding in his wife!

For others, they were actively involved in all sorts of public procurement scandals, and another year has lapsed without their being mentioned in any of the reports or the Directorate of Criminal Investigations or the Director of Public Prosecutions coming for them, even as Kamatakamata Fridays continue to make big boys and girls wet their pants.

All in all, Happy New Year to you, our reader!