Besieged Alchemist suspends operations after racism claims

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 31 May, 2022 08:25 | 2 mins read
Revellers queue outside the Alchemist Bar in Nairobi. PHOTO/Courtesy
Revellers queue outside the Alchemist Bar in Nairobi. PHOTO/Courtesy

Popular city club The Alchemist has suspended its operations to pave way for investigations into racial segregation allegations.

The swanky joint, in a statement on Monday, May 30 said the move to close its doors follows a directive from the Nairobi County Government.

The Alchemist bar
The Alchemist bar. PHOTO/Courtesy

The bar came under heavy criticism yesterday after claims of discriminating against its black customers.

A video doing rounds on social media shows the security team at the joint forcing blacks to queue in a different line from white and Indian revellers.

The incident allegedly took place on the night of May 20, 2022.

The management says the team conducting the probe into the racial discrimination claims will review the events of that night to determine if the guests in question were denied entry and if there was a policy in place to have separate lines for guests. This will include interviewing individuals in the video and reviewing the CCTV footage of the entire evening.

The team will also review the Alchemist in general to determine if there has ever been a policy of discrimination as well as assess third Party Security Services based on interviews and footage to determine what actions and recommendations should be made.

"Interviews and footage will be reviewed of the past events both at the gate and inside the establishment," the management said as it stressed on the need to "hire a new security team and develop new systems and processes to ensure that every single person feels welcome."

"...Based on the results of this investigation, Nairobi County Government will advise on next steps and procedures. We welcome this investigation and we will wait for their results."

The management had earlier dismissed the claims as false after pressure from 'lethal' Kenyans on Twitter popularly known as KoT.

The management explained that the premise only has one entrance and noted that there were a handful of black people in a queue which had a majority of white and Indian revellers.

They insisted that everybody was allowed in without being discriminated against based on skin colour.

"We have reviewed footage from the alleged incident and we’ve shared it for everyone to see. There is only 1 entrance line for people to come in from. There are people of every background in that line," Alchemist tweeted.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is among Kenyans who expressed their disappointment with the entertainment hotspot.

"It's illegal to discriminate against Kenyans on the Kenyan soil. Our freedom fighters died fighting racism. Under my administration, I will not have entertained such kind of nonsense. I call upon president Uhuru Kenyatta and his administration to take necessary action. Otherwise, this ALCHEMIST club in Westlands should be closed with immediate effect," Sonko wrote on Facebook.

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