The Politics of Beer (And I swear I am not Drunk!)

So I am in Nairobi, Kenya downing my Tusker last year. Those in the know are aware that I am a loyalist of drinking whatever alcoholic beverage the locals consume in whatever locale I am in, in the interest of enculturation. As I am there however, I start talking to one of the locals who gives me a story about why (not that I asked) I cannot find SABMiller products in Kenya. It’s an interesting story. Turns out back in the 90s, SA Breweries (before it was SABMiller), came into the Kenyan market. At around the same time, Guiness PLC had just bought a stake in Kenyan Breweries, the brewers, which then became East African Breweries EABLL). Turns out EABL ran SAB out of town. When SAB came into town, they came with cheaper prices and a price war ensured. Despite being owned by Guiness PLC then, EABLL started a campaign on how drinking Tusker was the loyal and Kenyan thing to do as opposed to letting mad South Africans take over. SAB tried and tried but eventually they surrendered, shrugging their shoulders and stating that they were leaving Kenya because it was a hostile market. Viva Tusker, right?
Fast forward to 2012. SAB (now SABMiller) is making its way back into the Kenyan market. In February they launched Castle Lite at the Zen Garden. And more recently they have brought Stout on the market. I am in Nairobi, Kenya. Owing to the amount of time I spend here, I am now almost one of the locals. A friend invites me to the ‘it’ gig of the night last night – the launch of a cider called Snapp, courtesy of East African Breweries, majority shareholder no longer Guiness PLC but Diaggio. It’s at the Mercury Lounge at ABC Centre in Nairobi (for the South Africans reading this, think some fancy restaurant cum bar around Sandton). The well-heeled and the well-moneyed are all here so I feel a bit shabby in my Mr. Price knock-off shoes but I hope no-one notices them too much as I am wearing a Foschini dress courtesy of a friend for some birthday long gone.
And then the emcee comes on stage. I roll my eyes a little when she starts by mentioning what a lot of American women have said about being a woman. ‘Aren’t there any Africans she can quote to make it relevant to the market?’ I ask. My friend says I am just jealous because no-one quotes me. Perhaps he has a point. A little while later emcee tells us to look at the screens showing us the leadership of the company talking of the product. The Top Three of the company are two white dudes and a black guy name of Mpho something. I am a little taken aback at the South Africanness of it all in Kenya. But I am still to let my tongue hang out more. The emcee introduces the star attraction. The Snapp Girls. The Snapp Girls look really good save for their weaves. They come on stage and sing (or at least I think they thought they were singing) some song about snapping. Later on they are interviewed on the long road it took to audition to be Snapp Girls. Turns out the Snapp Girls names of Tumi, Miriam and third member name of Tahlia, Tameka, or some other such black American sounding name are South African. They and their not very nice weaves landed two nights ago and are departing this morning. Yes, I said it. EABL, the company that branded itself in the 90s as being proudly Kenyan, just got South Africans to be their brand ambassadors.
Unless EABL is not very serious, I turn to my friend and start questioning on the wisdom of this since the Snapp Girls do not stay here and cannot do much as brand ambassadors. In fact, Didier has a better chance of selling Samsung here than they do of selling their cider because at least they are on the posters. It is then I talk to one of the marketing cum public relations people for EABL. Their reasoning? Snapp is owned by Diaggio and not EABL and because they are international, they preferred to use South Africans as brand ambassadors. To which I concluded, to ribbing from my friend, that perhaps Kenyans are not international-looking enough.
And the drink? Snapp is the cider that has come into Kenya to compete with SABMiller’s Redd’s. As far as I am concerned, it tastes better than Redd’s so cheers to that.

Easter Weekend Threesome with Trevor Noah

DVD: Trevor Noah: Crazy Normal
Actor(s):Trevor Noah
Published By: Independent
Released Date:

Trevor Noah Crazy Normal

This man is really funny. Siriyas!

25 July 2011

I am a three is a crowd type of person. Even when hanging out with my friends, I prefer when we are evenly numbered than oddly. When you are three, for instance, there is always the danger of two out of the three people ignoring the third person and making them feel isolated. You don’t believe me? I have a true to life anecdote that happened in the not-too-distant past.

I was recently chatting and having drinks one afternoon in Durban during Time of the Writer with four friends. We were really four in total but Thando Mgqolozana has such a large personality we could have been five including two of him.  An hour after we had been chatting, we realised that the fourth member of our party was missing and we had not seen them leaving.  And the situation is worse when the numbers are smaller. Say three. And yet, this weekend –Friday and Saturday night – I had a threesome with Trevor Noah.  MP (that’s my partner to you although sometimes, like members of those august houses, he too sleeps when I am saying important stuff) and I had so much fun if we had been in a movie we would be that pair that would have spent the rest of the weekend smoking that post enjoyment cigarette, one after the other.

Oh, you thought Trevor was in America, did you? Sorry for you, he was in my house this weekend. So if you read somewhere that Trevor beat up a Hollywood paparazzo, please know they are lying. It’s a conspiracy against a brother making it, y’know. Or maybe he will in fact have beaten up a Hollywood paparazzo as the Trevor I had in my house was a that hilarious follow-up to Daywalker called Crazy Normal.  So here is what happened. I walked into Look & Listen at Cresta Mall planning for some laughter for the weekend. MP and I are big groupies of Daywalker but do not own our own copy so I was hoping they had a copy of it. As usual at all the shops I seem to get into, it was sold out (if Day Walker is in so much demand one wonders why none of those shops ever order enough copies. Telling me it sold out last week does not cut mustard. Wise up, SA CD/DVD and bookstores!). OK so one of the shop assistants suggested I get ‘the latest’ Crazy Normal. I was sceptical. I am on record for thinking sophomoric works are never as good as the original. I was wrong. Mea culpa.

We popped in Crazy Normal into the laptop at bedtime. Figured if it was boring we would switch off and just sleep. Boy was I mistaken. That hour and 25 minutes went by quick-quick. Taking no prisoners as usual, in Crazy Normal, Trevor brings in jokes about South African airport announcers, ‘Those of you taking kulula to Deh-ben, the flight have been delayed from 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock neh?’ while the crazy racial classification on South African forms is not spared. Jacob Zuma reading a speech, ‘as you all know, I Jacob Zuma am not a cunt’ pause ‘ree on my own’  and that annoying etv program announcer ‘tonight on e’ also come in for  a grilling. And then of course there is the national anthem and the way it’s sung by many South Africans, while my personal favourite was definitely Dracula’s BEE counterpart Vernacular chasing a township girl. MP says he does not want to see me in the shower anymore thanks to the ‘black girl in the shower’ joke. I will, however, not say more on this one as y’all need to watch it yourself to appreciate it.

Day Walker? I will still grab a copy next time I can find it in shops. But I can honestly say with his second stand-up recording, Trevor is now even better. His jokes are well-researched, and for people like me who don’t appreciate it, there is no toilet humour. Most of all, you may not believe it’s possible but Trevor is actually funnier than he was in Day Walker. Both thumbs and toes up for this one.

Oh, and as a postscript, after Crazy Normal? We tried to watch another comedian we have always believed to be funny. Katt Williams. We took his DVD out after five minutes and decided we will try to watch it next month because after Trevor, Kat just was not that funny.  So Trevor, I don’t know whether you enjoyed it as much as we did but thanks for the weekend threesome. And Hollywood better appreciate you as much as you deserve or else… You dude, rock, paper, scissors!

>> Similar links

:: Trevor Noah on Wikipedia