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Edition 09

Hosting the Perfect “choma” party

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There’s really nothing better than a great “choma” party on a soothing festive afternoon. If you love the idea of festive entertainment, writes Milkah MAINA, break out, dorn the “Kiss the cook” apron and chef’s hat, and hit the grill. 

Certainly, local suppliers like Sheffield Steel Systems, Kitchen Professionals, D.K. Engineering as well as Turea Hospitality have plenty of grills you may find convenient for this escapade. You may also obtain the grill at local artisan outposts in Jua Kali markets around Nairobi.

Planning the perfect choma party takes the right amount of creativity and preparation, so you must make sure you cover all your bases. From picking the right food, to playing the right music, choma parties are all about having fun. Here are eight quick tips on hosting the perfect choma party:

1

Plan the guest list: Before you do anything, you need to decide how many people will be attending your party. Opting for a larger crowd will require a much more generic selection of food, while a smaller intimate group of people might allow you to get a bit more creative. Either way, you’ll want to get a proper headcount before you hit the stores. These days, online invitations and event pages are a much easier and well-received route than the old paper invites.

2

Pick the right spot: The backyard is a great place to have a choma party, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. If you need more space, or want to steer larger crowds away from your house, trying throwing your party at a public park like Paradise Lost in Kiambu or at the beach along the South Coast.

Depending on the location, there is usually only a small deposit fee to hold the space. Pick a place that’s centralized to your guest list, you don’t want to force your friends to drive several miles out of their way.

3

Decorate like a pro: Choma parties are one of the easiest events to decorate for. Buy some blow-up party decorations and toss them around your backyard. It’s easy to theme a party because most decorations come in packages.

4

Coordinate cook times: If you have a lot of food to prepare, you might want to get started the night before. Cook any side dishes on the eve of your choma party. The only items that really require same-day preparation are the meat and the cocktails. If you’re throwing your party with a spouse, family or friends, make sure to break up the food prep between you.

5

Set the mood with music: Picking music for a party is all about having fun. No one wants to listen to easy jazz or Gregorian chant when they’re biting into a loaded hot dog. Create a playlist that includes upbeat pop songs, classic oldies, and a few of your own favourite standbys.

6

Schedule activities: Don’t expect your guests to entertain themselves. Plan some activities to take place throughout the day. Water balloon tosses and dance contests are always fun selections for an outdoor bash, but feel free to be as creative here as you were with your theme.

Make sure you come up with something for everyone. If kids will be in attendance, pick out some activities for them as well. As the day winds down, trivia challenges are always a fun option.

7

Don’t get caught up: Regardless of the type of party you’re throwing, it’s easy to get caught up in the planning, and completely neglect your own enjoyment.

Don’t let yourself get stuck behind the grill or running to the store to pick up last-minute items. Remember it’s only a choma party, and that you want to walk away with some good memories of your own.

Whether you’re a first time planner, or seasoned professional, a choma party is one of the most fun and exciting parties you can throw. Proper planning and purchasing are key, but don’t let yourself get too caught up that you miss all the fun!