Kenya has a long tradition of producing its own bootleg liquor, but you should steer well clear of chang’a or kumi-kumi. Tales about this demon drink abound: in November 2000, a batch of the brew laced with methanol killed more than 130 people and hospitalised 500 others. The drink Sorghum Baridi, from Central Province, is said to contain so much methyl alcohol that the bottles are actually cold to the touch! Perhaps the most dangerous chang’a comes from Kisii, and is made from substances as diverse as marijuana twigs, cactus mash, battery alkaline and formalin. Needless to say, these brews can have lethal health effects, including permanent blindness, mental illness and even death.
Kisii… that’s about an hour’s drive from Sengera, the place where I spent three weeks when I was in Kenya a year-and-a-half ago. While I was there a poor wee 12-year old guy came in rather under-the-influence. They told me then that this ‘changa’ stuff was bad, I didn’t quite appreciate how bad! Poor wee guy, I think he recovered ok, but he was sure ill-looking when he turned up at our place, and it did seem rather touch-and-go-ish at the time too.
Maybe it’ll have taught him a lesson to stay away from the stuff :-P, but more than likely he won’t 😦 due to peer pressure, etc.
Ah well, back to studying for me.