In February 2015, Barry Ndengeyingoma arrived in Nairobi in style. He had two cars that were real head-turners: A lime-green lowride Lamborghini and a red Ferrari.
Barry is a Rwandan national who owns B Club, which a week ago was the centre of drama when a disc jockey was controversially shot by Embakasi East MP Babu Owino. The MP has been charged with the attempted murder of Felix Orinda aka DJ Evolve.
When he arrived, Nairobians immediately noticed. The cars cost about Sh20 million each, before stamp duty. Twitter lit up. For days, the cars would be photographed countless times by anyone who saw them in traffic and uploaded to the internet, sparking endless banter about who owns them.
The answer to this question would be partly answered in May 2016, when B Club opened its doors on the first floor of Galana Plaza in Kilimani, Nairobi.
Styled as a club that is part of an international franchise for the rich and famous, B Club was an instant hit.
At its parking lot, the lime-green Lamborghini and red Ferrari were at the head of a collection of expensive cars, including a stretch Lincoln Limousine and a Rolls Royce Phantom for transporting revellers who booked in advance.
Its opening night was an affair for Nairobi’s elite: politicians, rich businessmen and socialites. A receipt was even circulated on the internet showing how someone spent Sh1.16 million that day on 58 bottles of Moet Rose champagne – at Sh20,000 each.
The magic worked and B Club punched its way to the top. Soon, international celebrities and children of the very rich thronged the club. A son of a prominent political leader was once spotted shooting notes from the club’s money gun.
For the three years it has been in operation, B Club’s fame has soared but so has controversy around it. In September last year, a court ordered the club shut due to a suit filed by the residents of Kilimani over noise pollution.
On the source of his wealth, Barry Ndengeyingoma alias Ndegeye told local media three years ago that he started by selling second-hand clothes in his home country, Rwanda.