Kenyans online blast J’s over Fay Hersi assault


Kenyans online blast J’s over Fay Hersi assault
J's Fresh Bar and Kitchen. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • In June this year, J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen was again under fire after one of its staff told a black customer that the establishment prefers whites.
  • One Monique Kemboi had posted on Instagram: “Sometimes I have experienced racial bias where they attend to Whites and Indians faster than Africans which is saddening because we are in Kenya and in 2019 people, this should not be an issue but noted."
  • J's Fresh Bar and Kitchen replied: "This exists all over Kenya not just J’s. It’s about tip culture not racism. All restaurant owners know this and it’s important to state the truth."

J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen has hit the headlines once again after a customer, Fay Hersi, alleged that she and one of her friends were assaulted.

On Friday, Ms. Hersi accused the staff of slapping her and trying to choke a friend who came to her aid.

“Last night I was slapped and I had lemons/water thrown at me by a female bartender. This all took place because I merely asked for my change back,” she said.

According to her, the bartender insisted that she had given back the change and went on to accuse Ms. Hersi of being drunk.

The bartender then called in security guards who are said to have attempted to forcibly drag her out of the premises.

“At this point, my reflex is to slap this security to get myself free. Thankfully my friends Emmanuel Jambo, Big Bear, Barak Jacuzzi, Sean Preezy and others saw the situation escalate while one other security choked Sinatta Okello,” she added.

They are said to have asked to review CCTV footage and speak to the manager but a different man identified as Vincent appeared.

He allegedly slapped Ms. Hersi after she demanded to speak to the real manager.

The incident was reported at Westlands Police Station with the patron of the establishment apparently also filing a complaint.

A statement was later released saying that a review of CCTV footage would establish what had really happened.

“J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen does not condone and or tolerate acts of violence and or abusive behavior whether from employees, staff or patron,” the statement added.

A few hours later, another statement was released and this time the blame was cast on the aggrieved customer.

It reads: “After thoroughly going through our CCTV footage and placing the time of the incident recorded by @faysflow and her friends, it is clear that she instigated the situation which escalated.”

This elicited uproar with Ms. Hersi accusing J’s of editing and omitting parts of the footage.

Top personalities have since called out J’s for alleged cases of racism and the Friday assault on Ms. Hersi.

“It’s 2019. There are things that shouldn’t happen in 2020 and one of them is this. In this city, restaurateurs target people of colour/ Kenyans/locals simply because their average spend per table is higher and have the least demands. Nothing wrong there but then @JsFreshKitchen cannot give the same TA quality service and provide for their safety and security,” said Muthuri Kinyamu, co-founder of Turnup.Travel that offers concierge travel packages.

It’s not business as usual. Because we need gig spaces & bcos I love Rashid & the work he has done to build #Thursdaynightlive I have kept going to @JsFreshKitchen even though the staff is racist. But assault? With the owner right outside the room? Nah. Nah. Nah.” said Muthoni Ndonga (Muthoni Drummer Queen), a renowned musician and cultural maverick.

“If you people are in the right why are you deleting comments ? nothing justifies your actions. Not a damn thing. What y’all need to be doing is training your staff on crisis management consistently. Your business runs on people getting lit at your venue and as a result the team needs to be well equipped with deescalating situations NOT locking up people etc. it’s as if you refuse to learn,” said Mandi Sarro, a radio and TV presenter.

“..under no circumstances should management put their hands on anyone…. ever. Especially a woman,” said Joy Kendi, a fashion and lifestyle blogger.

Meanwhile, reports on social media alleged that Abdi Rashid Jibril of Roots International had cancelled events (Thursday Night Live) following the Hersi incident .

However, it has since been established that the cancellation of events is not in relation to the Friday incident.

“I decided to remove my event from J’s two months ago in October 2019 with December 19 being the last one. I have communicated that move via my social media platform since end of November,” Rashid told Citizen Digital on Saturday.

In June this year, J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen was again under fire after one of its staff told a black customer that the establishment prefers whites.

One Monique Kemboi had posted on Instagram: “Sometimes I have experienced racial bias where they attend to Whites and Indians faster than Africans which is saddening because we are in Kenya and in 2019 people, this should not be an issue but noted.”

J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen replied: “This exists all over Kenya not just J’s. It’s about tip culture not racism. All restaurant owners know this and it’s important to state the truth.”

 

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