Goch goch (nyama choma) at Mereki and other Harare party tales

Mereki in Harare was great.
Mereki in Harare was great.

You know how many Nairobi folk party right? It’s crazy how some do this activity to say the very least. It’s done at a frenetic pace which would leave one thinking that this was the last day on earth and the booze on offer will stop being brewed forever. So you drink fast to get the most of what is left. And the nyama choma (roast meat) that goes with the booze with its ugali and kachumbari followed by the soup. Do I need to say more?

I spent time partying in the capital city of Harare and I have to say that the pace is decidedly more relaxed. The Harare residents I met know that they have time on their side as they go out on the club. They even have time to go home and change into something more fitting for the occasion as opposed to the Nairobian who will walk straight from the office to the nearest pub and quaff as they wait for the traffic to “die down.”

I found out the Chelsea Pub in Angwa City because of my host Uncle Phil as it was where he likes drinking. It is a small unassuming place which allows one to drink and watch the game. It was a pretty small place.

Apart from the Chelsea which reminded me so much of having a beer in Changes bar in Westlands I discovered several other places. They include the Old Hararians on Drummond Chaplain Rd (Lawson Ave) which reminds me of the Impala Club on Ngong Road. Here I met gentlemen in suits on a Monday evening having a drink and chatting about the day that was. Good crowd there.

Also on my list of clubs was the Harare Sports Club which is where all the big cricket sides we all know like South Africa and Australia come to get thumped by the Zimbabwe National cricket side (alleged my host of the time Tawonga heh). A great atmosphere was had there on a Saturday evening especially in an area which was having a great party.

The highlight of the party scene for me had to be Mereki a sort of shopping centre overlooking a hill a few kilometres west of Harare town. Here I was to experience nyama choma Harare style which is referred to as goch goch. Think of an Olepolos which is closer to town and has more happening. There are cars of all makes in there from the lower end to the higher end parked and people playing music. To one side there was a DJ booth blaring music with mix from the now like the new song by Azonto man Fuse ODG called Antenna mixed in with old fare. The music selection was great, the quality of the music was however severely lacking.

For eats the shopping centre in the background had butcheries offering some of the best meat and sadza (ugali) on offer. Between the huge parking lot with cars and the shopping centre by the hill was the signature area of the area. Open air stands with braais for meat and borewors and other meaty delicacies manned or rather womaned by many ladies. It was quite a sight.

There were entrepreneurs going around who were offering drinks (Lion Lager, Club Pilsener, Castle et al) and some hawkers with DVDs of the latest movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood. Also on offer were music CDs from local musicians. The place was quite a hive of activity.

The highlight is the goch goch which was to be pork today which is a really good offering from that part of the world as the pork there is probably the tastiest I have ever eaten. As I waited for the pork I saw an interesting sight. A truck which was sponsored by Castle Lager showed up and on offer were live fashion show with four models from the open truck. People were being invited to have a drink of the tipple and then join them in modelling. I don’t know whether I was to laugh or marvel but there you have.

Another truck came in with young men and women dancing like crazy branded by Bacardi. Clearly Mereki was the place for alcohol related companies to do their activations.

So there you have it. A few places to drink when you are in Harare. Its more chilled place but it rocks nonetheless. Try Mereki my people.