The Alchemist bar says it's closing doors to pave way for probe on racism claims

for Tv47 Digital May 31, 2022, 12:02 AM
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Black bouncer chasing away a black man from a line with White people at the Alchemist restaurant in Westland n Nairobi.

The Alchemist bar in Nairobi's Westlands says it's temporarily closing its doors to pave way for investigations on claims about racism.

In a statement released on Monday evening, the establishment said a thorough investigation will be conducted to "review the night of May 20th to determine if the guests in question were denied entry and if there was a policy in place to have separate lines for guests."

In a video that went viral on social media, a Kenyan tweep by the name Murgor alleged discrimination against black patrons at the entrance of the pub.

The clip showed a black young man queuing alongside people of Indian descent and caucasians before a tall, masculine bouncer told him to move away.

“How will we ever beat racism if we are racist against our own selves," posed Murgor. "Last week when I went to Alchemist there was a line for White and Indian people, separate from the blacks’. One black guy tried using the line akachujwa immediately. This is sad really.”

The Alchemist says it will conduct "interviews with individuals in the video and review of footage throughout the entire evening," in the course of their investigations.

Owing to the barrage of racism allegations that have sprung up in the wake of this viral clip, the establishment adds that it will investigate whether "there has ever been a policy of discrimination."

In August 2018, a tweep by the name Cynthia Mbuthia accused the Alchemist of denying her two friends access to some areas, ostensibly due to her skin colour.

“Yesterday at Alchemist Bar two of my friends were told that they couldn’t stand in an area because it was only for Indians and Wazungus. The bouncer laughed in their faces as if we couldn’t do anything about it, and in the moment we couldn’t, but I refuse to let racism slide,” Cynthia wrote.

The establishment, which has been operational for six years, says it decided to close "after careful consultation with Nairobi County Government."

Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko had earlier voiced his opinion on the controversial issue. "It's illegal to discriminate against Kenyans on Kenyan soil . Our freedom fighters died fighting racism. Under my administration I will not have entertained such kind of nonsense. I call upon president Uhuru Kenyatta and his administration to take necessary action," he said.

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