Going Clubbing

20 June 2013
Author   J.W. ASHEEKE

To write this article on clubbing in Windhoek, I decided to quiz my daughter and her group of home girls for background information.


Actually, I suggested that I would accompany them one night so that I could see for myself what goes on. My daughter choked at the suggestion. I was told that I am old school and that my husband and I should go to El Cubano for a club experience that might suit us better. The entrance fee is N$100 (too high for the local folks), tourists go there and it is not the usual place for my daughter’s crowd.

Surely things must have changed since my time hangin’ out at the clubs and havin’ fun back in the day. I remember moving in a pack with my home girls to various clubs in Washington, D.C. We dressed in our sexy clothes and hit the dance floor shouting: “…wave your hands in the air and party ‘hardy’ like ya’ just don’t care! (That was the cool party shout-out anthem back in the day). We jammed to Grand Master Flash, Parliament/Funkadelics, Curtis Blow, Run DMC, Rick James, and Kool and the Gang. Now, my daughter tells me that they dance to Major Lazer, Nicki Minaj, DJ Ganyani, Will.i.am, Mafikizolo, David Guetta, P-Square, and D’banj. (She had to spell these names out for me repeatedly so that I would write them correctly in this article.)

The girls told me that the dynamic of clubs differs depending on where you go. “Black clubs are generally where a lot more people dance. The music is ‘house’ music from South Africa and Angola. They play hip-hop and ‘dancehall’ as well.” One girl told me, “…I like going to the club because I like the upbeat atmosphere and there is freedom in how you dance; I can dance with few inhibitions.”

“White/Colored Clubs also play hip-hop, but they also play elektro, techno and ‘dub-step’ (which is some sort of genre of electronic music.) But, we can have fun at all clubs really; anyone who wants to have some fun is welcome everywhere.”

My daughter and her home girls like going to clubs because they like getting dressed up and going out to dance. “Clubs are like one big party; there is fun in being with a lot of different people.” One of my daughter’s friends added: “I like dancing and seeing people in a social setting; sometimes ‘chilled’ sessions just don’t cut it. Clubs are a fun time out.”

As for the ambiance inside the clubs, they told me that, “the floors get sticky at times and it can get hot when lots of people are there, but, the atmosphere is better when it’s crowded.” I was told that, “the clubs get ‘good’ around midnight or one in the morning.” Before that, they usually ‘pre-game’, by drinking at a friends’ house or they go to a bar in a restaurant like NICE. I am informed that the ‘pre-game’ is where they chat, socialize and laugh to get their energy up and get in the mood to go to the club.

As there has been much talk about mini-skirts, I asked them to comment on the fashion scene at the clubs. I was told, “…girls can wear a ‘freakum’ dresses which is a dress that is tight and shows off your body. But, people wear these dresses whether they have a good body or not and “…on some people that doesn’t look nice at all.” Usually in the winter, my daughter’s group chooses (smartly, I think) to wear pants. They told me that, “…generally, girls who want to dance mostly, wear flats. The girls in the platform shoes and spike heels usually end up standing in one place or sitting because their feet hurt.”

I asked about how guys approach girls in the clubs these days. I wanted to see if that part of club life has changed since my time. I was told, “…Guys don’t really come up to you and ask you to dance like in the old days” (that statement made me feel my grey hair growing!) “You and your girl friends will be dancing in a group on the floor and a guy will sort of slide into your dancing group and just ‘be there’ dancing along.”

My daughter and her friends told me that when guys are ‘thirsty,’ they are desperate for a girl’s attention. “Our group of girls will turn to each other and say: ‘the thirst is alive and well in this one’ when a guy is too persistent for a dance or a cell phone number. LOL on this point.

The girls told me that, “Sometimes a guy who doesn’t speak English just shoves his telephone into your hand and that is supposed to mean you should enter your telephone number for him. Another girl added: “other times, a guy walks up and just begins giving you his number: “081…,” when you don’t even want it!”

The girls complained that the guys are mostly short and they simply wear jeans and a shirt. At times, “they wear too much cheap cologne.” They also said: “Sometimes guys wear sunglasses inside a darkened club and that is so silly! “When dancing, guys like to grind on you a lot.” I was told that grinding means that the guy ‘gyrates’ behind you, rubbing himself on the girl’s backside.

I remember back in the day, when ‘grinding’ occurred during ‘slow drag’ love songs when the two people dancing rubbed together all through the song, sliding slowly up and down with the rhythm of the music. I guess some things really don’t change. But, thinking about it now, it really does sound nasty.

The girls told me that people at a few clubs do smoke weed sometimes. “It’s not like you see people doing it, but you smell it. Mostly a lot of people get drunk all the time. There is always some girl in the bathroom heaving over the toilet.” As a parent, when I hear that, I pray to God that it’s never my daughter hanging her head over a dirty over-used toilet seat in a club bathroom.

These Windhoek clubs don’t seem to be very organized. The girls told me that, “You usually don’t get IDs checked. Younger girls are always all over the clubs; younger guys too. They will let anyone in as long as they pay.” The girls agreed that people get robbed at the club when it is very crowded, especially if you have a hand bag. There are fights at clubs too, but usually outside and it is always between guys. These fights are fist fights, but sometimes bottles are thrown.

They informed me that they stay at the clubs until 4 in the morning. “If there is an event like a private party, launch of a CD or like a ‘Malibu double-up Party’, then you tend to stay at that particular club all night. But, if a club gets dry, then you move on to another one.”

The cover charge is N$50 for a club like Chez Ntemba VIP, but other clubs can be N$20-N$30.

“When you enter, either they give you a wrist band or you get a stamp. But, if you arrive at a less busy time, then sometimes, you can get in free (especially for women). Drinks can be N$15-25 for a ciders/ale, a shot of hard liquor can be the same and a beer can be less.

After having this instructive and entertaining conversation, I don’t think that the club scene now as very different from my time. I guess that the more things change; the more they seem to stay the same.

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The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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