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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:New Generation Drinking: The Uncertain Boundaries of Criminal Enterprise in Modern Kenya
Author:Willis, JustinISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:illicit trade
drinking customs
alcoholic beverages
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Health and Nutrition
Development and Technology
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3518678
Abstract:During the 1990s, a new kind of alcoholic beverage began to appear in Kenyan bars. The 'new generation' drinks, as they came to be known, disturbed an established boundary between the formal and informal sectors, and between legitimate enterprise and criminal endeavour. They invaded the formal spaces of licit drinking, finding their way on to the shelves of bars between the bottles of Tusker and Bond 7; they appropriated the physical markers of respectable business, with labelled bottles and advertising. And they were cheap, since they avoided the burden of taxation which had pushed lager beer and whisky beyond the financial reach of many drinkers. Within a year or two, these new imitators had captured a considerable chunk of the drinking market. In campaigning against them, the formal drinks industry - already engaged in an internecine 'beer war' of its own - argued that the 'new generation' drinks were an active and direct danger to public health. In this the industry has received the support of vocal sections of the populace and the press, enraged by a series of tragic poisonings associated with illicit beverages. But the 'new generation' drinks have not disappeared, nor has their production been prevented, even though some are made on an industrial scale in premises whose locations are well-known. Conflicting statements emerge from different organs of the State regarding the legality and safety of these beverages; bans are announced, and forgotten, and announced again; and the drinks continue to be sold. This article explores the origins of the 'new generation' drinks, and what their continued availability tells us about the definition of crime in modern Kenya. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]