Malawians like to party, whether or not it is month end, one is assured of hordes of imbibers largely, enjoying themselves while doing justice to their favourite ice cold drink.
There are several popular entertainment joints in the major cities, but Lilongwe has some unique entertainment venues.
Thirst for fun? Welcome to Lilongwe.
Here they residents will open doors to the world of Lilongwe’s night life and visitors and local revellers alike cannot talk of ‘Lilongwe Nights’ without sampling such places.
While for many, the night means curling up in bed especially due to the unfriendly cold weather, for some nights in Lilongwe is time to unwind after a long day of hard work.
It is common to see men with neck ties still slinging their neck heading to the nearest waterhole for a sip of a cold drink. While Wednesdays are arguably not the perfect day for a beer binge for some, in Lilongwe imbibers says “there’s nothing like an appropriate day in the week for drinks” and a Wednesday is a perfect day to brew a “Thursday hangover”.
So for many, the fun starts on Tuesday at Chez Ntemba. Here the loud music blasting from all corners will hit you like a sucker punch. Lilongwe revellers claim, the music at Chez is the best you can get in the city.
For those seeking some quiet and space to reflect, possibly The Shack is the place to be. This is the place where most of Lilongwe imbibers gather for a mid-week drink. Apart from the space and quiet environment, the bar is a perfect spot for sports and snacks.
The sands surrounding the little barn-like-structure are home to weekly volleyball tournament. Three leagues depending on skill, hosts mixed teams, males and females which compete against each other.
For those to whom volleyball is not their forte, fun lies in the drinks as well as judging others on their sporting inability for letting stray balls!
As the games end, the dance floor inside the bar gets interestingly rowdy.
A stone’s throw away, lies a literary minds den. This is where proses and verses pitch up to kill the night from a poetry session. It is the Living Room.
The Living Room is where Lilongwe’s nocturnal life swing into motion as momentum gathers towards a weekend of fun. By the time people walk out of The Living Room, it’s a Thursday!
After nursing Wednesday’s hangovers, fun seekers will go to Chameleon Bar to share last night’s exploits. Here, the crowd is a mix of old and young, who usually gather for a performance by a resident band.
Chameleon Bar is a popular meeting place, attracting expatriates, diplomats among others. Chameleon as the animal named after it can change its colours quickly. As the night envelopes the city, the bar will slowly fill up and before you know it, it explodes into a night of fun filled with music, booze and more booze. One by one revellers will be in ‘Throwback Thursday’ mood as they reminisce the good old days with a trip down the memory lane with music.
What is most exciting about Chameleon is that the resident band will dish out unforgettable hits from artists such as Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Kool & the Gang, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Madonna, M’bila Bel, among others. It is only until midnight when a DJ steps in to let revellers dance the night away.
For club hoppers, at midnight they jump into their vehicles or taxis to see what another popular drinking joint Good Fellows has in store for them.
By the time they reach Good Fellows, they might be hungry and thirsty. So revellers rush inside for a bout of drinks. For many, Good Fellows is home to the best snacks.
From there, the merrymakers either head to Discorium or Chez Ntemba night clubs, to finish the night, and thank God it is Friday.
On Fridays all roads in Lilongwe lead to Chez Ntemba.
If I were not to call Chez Ntemba the City’s Night Life Capital, I will be doing injustice to the entertainment, passion and verve that the place possesses.
Chez is where miracles happen, those who cannot see, actually see, those who cannot dance, dance, those with no tongue to court a fair lady, will utter their first ‘I love you’. It is a temple of fun.
At Chez, good music is guaranteed. As you manoeuvre your way to Chez Ntemba which is situated within the Bwandilo area, arguably Capital City’s red light district, one cannot miss to spot the stunning sex workers lining up the streets.
Here it is impossible to miss the ladies in tights on high heels, pumps, short dresses and skirts with skin revealing tops, showing themselves off and awaiting the company of loose men.
With such fun, the party at Chez can last an entire Friday night and stories are told of imbibers who walked out of Chez Ntemba only to be greeted with clear skies and women walking to the markets.
But that is the fun you get in Lilongwe, as here, nocturnal life’s motion is always irresistible.