When one goes clubbing in Nairobi they have different motives. Some go to meet new pals, others to have fun while others go hunting for the weak. Just like a brothel that is always flooded with sex workers, so it is in some of the most notorious downtown night clubs. The prostitutes are always on the look out for men who come to these clubs.Whenever they see a customers enter a club, they translate them into a business venture. So leave your drink on the table unattended at your own peril.
Cases of people being drugged have been on the rampant increase in recent days, and Nairobi County is the most notorious. "Mchele," the Swahili name for rice has been coined to refer to the dangerous drug which is used to intoxicate revelers drinks by marauding prostitutes. The drug is usually prescribed by a doctor for people with insomnia but when mixed with alcohol it has a very powerful anaesthetic effect and in extreme cases, can lead to a coma or even death.
"Mchele" - STILNOX
When your drink is spiked, it takes effect within 10-30 minutes whereas symptoms usually last for several hours. Some of the symptoms include: nausea, dizziness, unconsciousness, visual problems, particularly blurred vision, loss of balance e.g., finding it hard to walk and the most common one being amnesia or what most Kenyans refer to as “Kuchew blackout”.
This is what the drug looks like when bought over the counter in a pharmacy. It costs 1,500/- per packet of ten but the "rewards" for those who use it can run into thousands of shillings in value.
In part 2 of this series we will share a video interview I had with two of the victims; while in part 3 you'll get to hear from a prostitute who used to put "mchele" in people's drinks.