According to one of the Kenyans who was together with the woman, her friend was denied entry by one of the waiters who claimed that she was “too drunk” to be allowed in the pub. A female friend, who was in the entourage, called KSB to report the incident live which occurred shortly before midnight on the material day. As she spoke on the phone, shouts of “racism” and “discrimination” could be heard in the background.
The three friends disputed the position by the Lila Wien staff member that their colleague was drunk, arguing that the staff had misjudged the woman’s status in relation to alcohol consumption. According to friends, the woman had not taken any intoxicants because prior to her arrival at the club, she had been working all day.
“It’s her who proposed that we come to Lilla Wien to chill so that she could let off steam after a hard day’s work and we agreed”, a woman friend told KSB as the incident unfolded. Friends told KSB that the staff member who had banned the woman from entering the pub had mistaken the woman’s big eyes to mean that she had taken too much alcohol.
“The truth is that my friend simply has big eyes and since staff here are not used to seeing big African eyes, they thought that my friend was drunk”, the woman friend told KSB adding that staff members had refused to understand this explanation because they had turned into racists.
Another friend who accompanied the woman told KSB that at the time of the incident, there were two white customers who were so drunk that they were sleeping with their heads bowed on the table but that they were never shown the door.
“Whites were already asleep on the table after too much consumption but my friend was still on her feet, talking. If these whites remained inside and my friend was being denied entry, then there is something more”, a Kenyan friend who was at the scene told KSB.
“The truth is that my friend has been denied entry because of growing racism and discrimination of black people in Swedish pubs”, the friend told KSB.
“I am very disappointed because this is a pub Africans have always regarded as their own but now, we are being openly discriminated”, the friend told KSB.
The view of the woman’s Kenyan friends was that Africans had lifted Lilla Wien from a sleepy pub which used to have no more than ten customers to a vibrant meeting place always packed with Africans but that now, the pub’s management had begun to use the very racist tactics used by other pubs to deny Africans entry into various entertainment joints.
According to the Kenyans, they had hired a taxi to be at the pub for the evening with their friend but that all had now gone to waste because of the changing face of Lilla Wien.
Fruitless intervention by Vumbi and Kasule
It is known that over the past few years, the pub has been popularized by Vumbi Dekula’s band which has been playing regularly at the pub thereby attracting huge enthusiastic crowds which has, in turn, been according the pub booming business in terms of high beer consumption.
The concern among friends of the woman who felt that she was being treated unfairly is that the pub feels so secure in terms of customer base that it has now began to discriminate against Africans.
The problem was not made any better when both Vumbi Dekula and Sammy Kasule (who left the stage to attend to the case) tried to intervene so that the woman could be allowed entry. The pub’s management refused to listen to the two giant musicians who had reportedly tried to convince the management to admit the Kenyan woman because she was one of their greatest fans known to be of very good character.
There was total chaos at Lilla Wien when the African crowd became aware of the development. The whole crowd that had been shaking their bodies on the dance floor walked out of the pub in protest, arguing that Lilla Wien is one of the most respected pubs by Africans in Stockholm and that it was unfair for the pub’s management to deny an African entry on grounds of bogus claims of alcoholism which could not be substantiated.
Some members of the crowd who wanted to establish the real truth did inspect the woman’s level of inebriation before concluding that she was not anywhere near to being classified as “drunk”. They demanded that the woman be admitted into the pub but when the management maintained its ground, the Africans walked out of the pub and left it empty. According to eye witnesses, Vumbi and his team had to close business because there was nobody left to dance to their music.
The incident will, most likely, shock many Africans who regard Lilla Wien as “their pub”. The main problem is that Vumbi and his groups thrives on their African fans and once this fan base is eroded due to managerial problems, what is known as “Little Nairobi” may simply disappear into oblivion. Observers can only hope that this is an isolated incident because if it is a tendency, then the days of “Little Nairobi” may as well be numbered.
KSB has been promoting the pub because of its “African orientation” and the hope is that the management will quickly understand the implications of discriminating against Africans at the pub and sort out the issue before it blows out into a huge problem which may ignite a mass boycott of the pub by Africans in Stockholm.