Sunday, September 20, 2020

“Club Dirty”: The night club that has stood the test of time

Grandwest Night Club, popularly known as Club Dirty, and arguably the busiest night club in Gaborone, celebrated, on Thursday, 11 years of uninterrupted operation.

Situated at Gaborone West Mall in Phase 1, Grandwest Night Club first opened its doors to patrons on 18th October, 2001.

The club is owned and run by Steve Rahman, who is dubbed ‘the father of Botswana entertainment’ because of his involvement in the entertainment industry since 1985 when he opened his first night club, Theo’s Night-Spot which later became Night Shift.

On Thursday, patrons were treated to free snacks and drinks in celebration of the club’s 11 years of existence.

Grandwest Night Club has been christened ‘Club Dirty’ or ‘Club D’ by its legion of patrons because of the appalling conditions outside the club where people loiter in the parking lot and there is rampant illegal selling of alcohol giving the club a bad name despite the strict conditions that apply inside.

Rahman has said he is left helpless as he has no authority or control over what goes on outside the club even though everything that happens outside his club is being associated with the club.

In an interview with the Sunday Standard last year when his club was celebrating its 10th anniversary, Rahman had said he is of the view that the demand for places of entertainment like night clubs is high in Botswana, especially in Gaborone, which is a cosmopolitan city. He opined that perhaps urban areas should have their own hours of operation from those of rural areas where the demand for night clubs is negligible. He felt that by limiting hours of operation for night clubs the country is moving backwards while other developing countries are moving forward.

Rahman said ever since their hours of operation were reduced, night clubs are no longer commercially viable as they now have to allow patrons free entry. They cannot even afford to host music shows because of the time limit. Rahman implored government to differentiate night clubs from bars. While bars exist solely to sell liquor, night clubs cater for entertainment. According to Rahman, people go to night clubs to interact and socialize while enjoying music or watching live performances. He said people go to night clubs because they do not want to sleep early.

Asked why Grandwest seemed to be the number one choice for many people in Gaborone, Rahman said his club boasts of tight security for its patrons while they are inside.

Rahman has been in the entertainment industry in Botswana running night clubs for 27 years now. He was born in Durban, South Africa, and has lived in Botswana since 1983.

He currently owns and runs Satchmos Jazz Caf├® which operates adjacent to Grandwest night club. He also runs Zoom Night Club in Maruapula and Ozone in Lobatse. He recently opened Talking Heads pub in Maruapula.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.