Only Token White Boy at the Club: Nairobi Edition

It was Saturday night and there was a brisk cool breeze coming out of the Serengeti in Nairobi, Kenya.  How a wind stays cool for a few hundred miles is besides the point.  It was pouring rain and everyone was wearing a jacket since they thought it was cold.  The first question that I was asked was why I was only wearing a t-shirt.

I explained to them that I used to be furrier than a furball on steroids but just got some laser hair removal, I was accustomed to cold weather and I actually loved it.  People even looked at me funny when I was walking around Antarctica with a t-shirt on (it’s really not as cold as you think).

Rafiki's Nairobi, where to go out in Nairobi, nightlife nairobi, nairobi

Entrance of Rafiki's Bar and Lounge in Nairobi

Instead of spending 1,000 shillings (about  $11) on a taxi I was blessed to have some friends come pick me up.  Luckily, one of the girls in the group met someone with a friend that took us home.  I was enjoying my Tusker beer when I realized I was the only white person in the club.  The music was mostly Reggae and Caribbean themed with Hip-Hop being played at certain point in the night.  One thing that I noticed about music in Africa is that the beats and sounds are very similar to Caribbean music.

Below you can find one of my favorite songs is a remix version of a song called Nwa Baby by Flavour (Nigerian Artist):

One of the most hysterical things that happened to me in the club was that as I was dancing “closely” to some of the songs a man would look at me and then give me a thumbs up.  The first time that it happened I started laughing but then it happened over and over again.  Then after that I took off my pony tail to adjust my frizzy hair and three women just started grabbing my hair.  How could I be in love with three women at once?

tusker beer, beer in kenya, beer in Nairobi

One of the National Beers in Nairobi

As I continued dancing other men would stop and just start laughing give me a huge smile and then a thumbs up.

I thought about it and I realized after looking around that I was the only white boy at the club.  This may just be what living in Africa was all about.

The token white boy.

One of the weirdest things that happened was not the funny dance moves the man in front of us was doing (I really wish I could show you).  It wasn’t even the beige suit jacket that the man had with an afro designed on the back or even how he started to hit on one of the girl’s in our group. The first question he asked was:

Where is that white boy from?

I think it may have been how I devoured that cheese burger because I hadn’t eaten all day or maybe I was getting too jiggy with it.  Either way why would a man ask another woman where the token white boy was from?

I do have to inform you that after that he danced alone the entire night.  I prefer short hair designs on beige jackets thank you very much.

I won’t lie I felt kind of unique!  I mean how many times can you think of that you have actually felt different in a city you have visited.  I was the only one with long hair, only one with green eyes, and the only one stupid enough to wear a boar’s tooth necklace that looked like Ivory.  You do know Kenyan’s are passionate about their Ivory being poached right?

Nairobi Nightlife, Clubbing in Nairobi, nightlife in Nairobi

Malkia Owangu. Check. Your's Truly. Check. Wrong Necklace to wear. Priceless.

I felt special until I saw the other token white white boy sit right in front of me.  I mean the least he could have done is go to the other side of the club right?  I stepped outside to hang out with some friends smoking Sisha and sure enough the token white couple arrived.  It’s so funny because as I was walking around the white people kept staring at each other and the video below is the first thing that thought about:

It honestly was a great experience until the second night that I went out in Nairobi.  Not only was I the token white boy at that club but I also got ganged up by a group of women.  Having already traveled one year this is a great way to start my second year traveling around the world.  Stay tuned for the updates!


  1. I can think of many times when I’ve felt different in a city I’ve visited, not just because of the fact I have blonde hair but because I have very fair skin (hopefully after travelling long-term next year this won’t be as much the case!). But I loved being in SE Asia because they loved me for my skin and hair. They used to “oohh” and “ahh” because they love fair skin, as opposed to some Muslim countries where they kind of stare at you creepily. Either way, I’m pretty much a target wherever I go. Maybe a trip to Sweden should be on the cards! haha

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