alexa LIFE BY LOUIS: What happened to New Year parties? - Daily Nation

LIFE BY LOUIS: What happened to New Year parties?

Monday December 30 2019

Fireworks display at a New Year Party. End of year company parties have grown soft. PHOTO | AUGUSTINE SANG | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Fireworks display at a New Year Party. End of year company parties have grown soft. PHOTO | AUGUSTINE SANG | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

End of year company parties have grown soft. I was invited for one last week by a business partner who still considers the food and drinks that I partook as a kickback that will guarantee him business orders for the next one year.

Everyone was all priestly and cautiously sipping soft drinks and bottled water like it was a withholding tax workshop.

The business leaders wore starched suits and read scripted speeches from yellow pads with no off the cuff remarks.

The rest of the staff were in a sombre mood and they sat with stiff backs as the dick jockey played classical Christmas tunes. Ushers in ankle length skirts stood alert with hand towels and fresh table cloths.

Even when the manager in charge of the payroll and other emoluments announced that there was not going to be any bonus for the year ending due to some reason codes that were available from finance department upon request, no one flinched.



When the dance floor was opened and everyone was invited to shake a leg, people danced in slow waltz movements. There was no one dancing on the tables as would have been expected of such an occasion. 

Although a separate tent had been set aside for patrons of adult beverages, the mixologist sat there bored as customers ticked in at a frustratingly slow rate.

There was no fresh hiring lying comatose in the chill out tent from being inebriated. I was unsuccessfully looking for the odd office messenger dancing suggestively with the cute Head of International Relations because such scenarios always produce an unlimited amount of entertainment.

I was also hoping a junior finance chap would corner the managing director and start lecturing him on transfer pricing and price hedging.

I wouldn't have been surprised if someone produced a hymnal and the DJ ended the party at 10pm with prayers. I didn’t last that long in the party because at exactly 8pm the award ceremony kicked off and the low murmurs from the crowd told the story that the list of winners was not popular and raw emotions were beginning to manifest. I decided to leave the party before I was afflicted with the official boredom.


When we were carriers of warm blood in our veins, we had this end year bash in a certain hotel that we erstwhile saw in the media.

When we arrived we were received by cute looking ushers that seemed to have been poached from the major international airlines.

The tables were set up in splendour, and assorted hard and soft beverages and appetizers were set in complicated artistic designs. The most conspicuous item in the set up were bottles of red wine that sat invitingly on the table like suitors to our young palates.

Most of us had not “sessioned” with red wine before and we could be forgiven for thinking that it was some of juice with red colouring. We attacked it viciously even before lunch was served.  I remember this pensionable lady who worked in the registry. She kept asking for more of that red juice, which unbeknown to her was a potent high end shelves wine that could knock down a horse after one glass. 

Soon she was perched atop one of the tables as she led the rest of us in singing some lurid tunes from our popular mugithi joints.


Some of us who viewed her as our grandmother were forced to look away for the entire duration lest she fell off the table and we were instantly struck blind by the sight of her dignity.

One new male joiner found her thoroughly enchanting. He had also taken more than his equitable share of the red juice. Soon the two of them were dancing together like a newly wedded couple, and we shifted our attention to other more entertaining scenes. But not for long.

According to Louis Third Law of Inverse Proportions, the age of your dancing partner is inversely proportional to amount of red juice that you have consumed. The more you take, the younger and more beautiful she appears.

Soon the young boy whispered some love lyrics into the pensioners’ ear. None of us heard the words, but we all watched in horror as she turned hysterical and accused the boy of moral decadence and wanting to marry his grandmothers’ age mate.  She had to be driven home before she tore the hotel down with wailing and cursing.

On one of the hotel balconies, an office accounts couple that was trying to hide and do some private end month reporting missed a turn and ended up on the windward side of our curious gazes, much to our excitement and wild cheers.

The party was awash with drama, and thanks to the red juice that kept flowing, there were very few occurrences that did not generate a certain amount of amusement.


The party continued late into the night, but not before a number of us regurgitated the red juice and we fell victim to premature exit of the party. The revellers with stronger livers lived to see the following morning when the chaotic party scene was being cleared in readiness for another more respectable party.

If anyone needs an event organiser for a kicking end of year party, I am offering free consultancy in exchange for food and red juice.