Migina is a street in Kigali located right in front of the Amahoro National Stadium. Just like other busy streets, you can find quite a number of bars but what makes Migina distinct is its ability to stay awake when everywhere else has shut down!
Passing Migina around 7pm, one probably wonders why there are so many empty chairs outside. Don’t fret, that state of affairs won’t last for long!
Come 11pm, the sheer amount of people enjoying the area’s delights, will leave your mouth agape. You would think that people are there for a mass meeting of sorts.
Migina attracts people from all walks of life determined to have a good time. However, due to its reputation of having one too many prostitutes, some people believe that it is imperative not to be spotted there - those with cars park them a little distance away from the street.
By midnight, the place is at its peak without a single chair in sight, despite the fact that there were numerous empty chairs assembled outside just hours before. Most of the guys are ‘moto’ divers, usually standing in every corner while others lean on their motorbikes, enjoying their drinks and chatting in loud voices.
Thomas Gatete, one of the bar attendants has worked in one of the bars for the past one and a half years and said weekends are the busiest and most tiring.
“We get so many customers that sometimes it’s complicated to serve them all within the desired time, and with this place, its order with cash. So many fights break out as people get drunk, so it’s best to secure your money first.”
“Customers are not a problem as most motobike men, construction workers, airtime vendors and business men, among others, come here for a drink before they head home. The bar with the most chairs outside always gets the most customers,” Gatete said.
There is an unlimited number of motorbikes parked outside, airtime boys being called here and there by the customers and security men. With their walkie-talkies and guns, they walk slowly along the street making sure everything is in order.
Theogene Kabera, a motorcyclist who literally danced the night away said Migina is, by far, his favourite hangout spot, despite the fact that he lives in Kinamba.
“I don’t have to pay for entrance, I can dance and drink all night, plus, most of my friends are here. This place is cheap and since prostitutes add to the fun, I can tell you, you won’t find a place more convenient,” he said.
Kabera, who was dressed in his green motorbike vest, added that Migina is the full package for a true partygoer.
In truth, the ladies of the night are one commodity that never runs out in Migina. These flesh hawkers are everywhere. From across the street, they usually walk down a dark road to the residential area and wait around for men who then most certainly follow! Naturally, many men are shy about the real reason they go to Migina. Some walk in, look around and then pretend to be on phone yet in actual sense, they are looking for a sex worker to negotiate with.
Believe it or not, while normal ‘Kigalians’ are asleep at 5am, the Migina party people are still going strong before they then stagger home around midday!