When talking of the biggest bar in Zimbabwe, Chigarapasi Bar in the sugarcane town of Chiredzi arguably has no competitor.
Straddling over 16 273 square metres, this makes it one of the biggest beerhalls in the country by a mile.
Those that prefer it ‘‘big’’ should definitely visit Chigarapasi Bar but if one wants other ‘‘pleasures’’ there are two bars in Harare that may suit their tastes.
Less than 10 kilometres from the City Centre in the suburb of Warren Park there is a bar nicknamed Gehena, the other word for hell. Not the usual Biblical hell, but the one of ‘‘pleasure.’’
About five kilometres away from Gehena there is another bar monikered Satan in the high-density suburb of Rugare.
Gehena is indeed a hell with its name having stood the test of dating back to around 2015.
While Satan seems to be a new name after being coined less than two years ago its popularity is probably slowly taking many by storm.
The names do not just coincide but live true to characteristics of Hell and Satan.
The bars offer an array of things, be it cold beer, pool tables, television sets for soccer fanatics, a disk jockey and of course for those that l0ve ‘things’ there are th!gh vendors.
Calling them ladies of the night might be an understatement as they are now offering their services even during the day.
Our news crew interacted with the owner and some of the patrons narrating how the names were coined starting with Gehena’s whose original name is Moyo’s Night Club. The owner Innocent Mutena shared his view on the name.
“The name Gehena is a nickname for the bar which we just inherited when we took over the place. The original name of the bar now is Moyo’s Night Club after the previous change of ownership.
“The bar is very entertaining as people from the surrounding areas as Kambuzuma, Westlea and Tynwald all flock to enjoy themselves. It is definitely a place to be,” he said.
Mutema said the night club even accommodates night travellers sometimes as it closes in the morning with people enjoying quality time.
A Warren Park resident, Victor Dumba said the name Gehena was coined almost seven years ago when the bar was still called Golden Nest.
“Patrons were always crowded due to the cheap beers that were sold. The trend of selling cheap beers continued even after it changed owners.
“Thieves were also a common feature back then but when owners changed due to the popularized name people continued referring it to Gehena,” he said.
Another patron who only identified himself as Takey said the number of women that thronged Gehena contributed immensely to its naming.
“The name came about when c0mmercial ƨǝx workers used to flood the place. For them it was indeed big business.
“Usually on weekends the night club would be packed to the brim. The c0mmercial ƨǝx workers’ charges ranged from US$5 to US$20 depending on how one negotiates. For the lucky ones a few drinks were enough to take a lɑdy for the night,” he said.
Garry Dahwa said the name was also popularised by some rogue elements that were usually engaged in fist fights when push comes to shove, they used weapons.
“Fighting used to be more of a habit than an event, so people ended up saying we are now going to Gehena. Pickpockets were also a common feature especially targeting those that got drunk easily,” he said.
On an undercover visit our news crew went to Satan bar originally called Mashazhike Bar where they met one of the female workers who was selling beer at its bottle store around lunchtime yesterday.
At first the unidentified lady was hesitant to speak, but when our crew purchased the wise waters, a Castle can, she became receptive.
“This is the place called Satan. I operate the bottle section here in front and at the back there is a night club which opens at 4pm. The owner is the same. If you want to have a drink in the bottle store, better come prepared. Thieves are common just like ladies of the night. It is hell on that side,” she said with a smile on her face as the news crew departed.
A Rugare boozer who pleaded for anonymity for fear of victimisation said the name Satan was popularised due to filthy dealings in the bar.
“For those that know the place it is a no-go area for the faint hearted.
“Phones are stolen, fights are the order of the day, pr0st!tution is rife,” said the boozer.
Another patron, Mr Tafadzwa Ngirande defended the place saying there were actually a few rogue elements that tarnished the name of the bar.
“I know people named it Satan due to a few mishaps that occurred in the past, but as for now it is actually a nice place to hang out. It is like any other bar where c0mmercial ƨǝx workers will be going about their business,” he said.
Hope to meet you in Gehena or Satan one of the days or daily, have a nice splendid weekend beer l0vers or clients of c0mmercial ƨǝx workers.