Functional street lights, improved security and affordable means of transportation in Enugu have encouraged the emergence of several night clubs and relaxation centres in the coal city
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jan. 21, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
FOR those who enjoy night outings, Enugu is now the place to be. A visit to the state indicates that every day is a celebration. Nightlife in the state is no longer what it used to be. In the recent past nightlife was almost non-existent. The people of the state started enjoying nightlife as a result of the availability of street lights and affordable means of transportation to move around at night as well as adequate security. A good number of night joints and clubs has sprung up in the state, and most of the clubs operate on weekdays especially Wednesday and on weekends especially Fridays and Saturdays with large influx of guests.
Enugu, which is relatively dominated by civil servants and middle class people, is now alive due to night activities going on in the state every day. People hang out at wine bars and joints, where they drink and have fun with friends and families. There are a good number of places where one can hang out at night and have a feel of the hospitality that the city offers.
The popular spots include the Shoprite Mall, which has become the hottest spot at night, Roban Stores Mall, Nike Lake Resort, New Berries Park, Blue Island hotel, Villa Toscana hotel, Neocourt pool Side and Bar, Cube 10, 8-Hour joint, Filling station, Nza Street Bush Bar, NUJ Press Centre and Crown Guest House.
Ogbonna Promise, a bar attendant in one of the hotels, said the state has changed for good and that the government has made hotel and restaurant business very lucrative. “Since the state government decided to beautify the city, hotel and night life business has returned to the state. As a result, business joints and hotels are capitalising on it to improve on their businesses. Today, it is becoming difficult to book for a room in hotels, particularly on Fridays due to the number of activities and programmes in the city,” he said.
The presence of taxis, fondly called “Coal City cabs” in the state is making movement at night very easy. Jacob Okolo, a taxi driver, said he did not travel home for Christmas because of what he would make during the period. “Nightlife in Enugu is a business of its own; some of us prefer not to travel because that is when we would get passengers who are willing to go at any price. At least I make between N7,000 and N8,000 daily at night since we entered December unlike before when I made N3,000 and N4,000. The environment is very good for us to operate and the security agents are everywhere around the city,” he said.
Vincent Obinna, an Engineering student of Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT, said he did not travel home because of some night activities he wanted to attend in Enugu. “This is my first time of celebrating Christmas in Enugu and I enjoyed myself. I always enjoy myself in Enugu mostly on weekends but this Christmas was exceptional,” he said.
Nightclubs that are regarded as popular choices in the city are Afro Lounge, 380 Night Club, Grand Rivera Night Club, Bar Code Night Club, Grand Cave Night Club and Villa Toscana Night Club all located within New Haven and Independence Layout. It is interesting to note that the present administration in the state has created a conducive environment for night life in the city.
Some other joints, where African dishes like Isi-Ewu, Ugba, Nkwobi, Pepper soup and African salad are served with palm wine are also enjoying bumper sales within New Haven, Asata, Uwani, Abakpa and Independence Layout. Consequently, they now operate and close late at night owing to improved security.
Despite all these, there are areas where one could not comfortably spend time at night owing to the activities of miscreants. Restaurants and joints within such areas as Coal Camp, Uwani, Achara Layout and Abakpa are deemed not very safe for the big boys in town because of reports of incessant robbery attacks at such spots.
Besides, the presence of the middle class at such areas is seen as a threat to the rich, who would want to keep late nights with friends and have a feel of what the city offers. Hence, places like New Haven, Independence Layout, Presidential Road, Asata and Ogui New Layout have remained the hot spots in town where people usually spend hours drinking and socialising with friends.
Coal city, which is regarded as the home for all Igbos from different states in the South East, has continued to play host to both residents and visitors with minimal discomfort and many believe that the state capital is, indeed, worth living in.