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Changaa or Chang'aa is a traditional home-brewed spirit, popular in Kenya. It is made by fermentation and distillation from grains like millet, maize and sorghum, and is very potent.

After being illegal in Kenya for many years, the Kenyan government legalised the traditional home-brewed spirit in 2010, in an effort to take business away from establishments where toxic chemicals are added to the brew to make it stronger.[1] Under the new law, changaa must be manufactured, distributed and sold in glass bottles, and retailers must display health warning signs. Sale to individuals under age 18 is still prohibited, as is sale through automatic vending machines. Anyone making or selling adulterated changaa risks penalties of five million shillings, five years in jail, or both.[2] Chang'aa is usually much cheaper and stronger than other alcoholic drinks, making it the beverage of choice for many.

Its production and distribution in urban slums has to some extent continued to be controlled in many cases by criminal gangs like the Mungiki who run protection cartels for illicit brewers. However in the rest of the country production is still under traditional brewers. Illegally brewed changaa could be purchased for around US$0.15[3] to $0.25[4] per glass. The drink is sometimes adulterated by adding substances like jet fuel, embalming fluid or battery acid, which has the effect of giving the beverage more 'kick'.[4][5] Drinkers have suffered blindness or death due to methanol poisoning.[3] The water used to make the drink in illegal breweries is also often below acceptable health standards and sometimes contaminated with sewage.


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kenya moves to end ban on chang'aa home brew". BBC News. 2010-02-10. 
  2. ^ "Chang'aa now legal but must be bottled". The Standard (Kenya). Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  3. ^ a b Harding, Andrew (2002-09-20). "Life after dark in Nairobi's slum". BBC News. 
  4. ^ a b "African Moonshine: Kill Me Quickly". The Economist. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  5. ^ "Chang’aa - Jet fuel 'makes brew stronger'". News 24.com. April 14, 2005. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changaa — Please support Wikipedia.
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552 news items

The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)
Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:00:00 -0800

Thirteen years ago, Domtila's schedule was quite different as she would either be brewing or serving her customers 'changaa' – an illegal alcoholic drink. She perfected her brewing over a 41-year period and her skills were so legendary that her pot ...

Clash Magazine

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Mon, 10 Aug 2015 04:48:45 -0700

So when the band found themselves in an Air BNB in Kisumu, they decided to simply set up in the kitchen and begin recording. 'Changaa Attack' is an enthralling return, funky Afro-Futurism which is as cerebral as it is physical. Out on August 14th via ...

The Star, Kenya

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Fri, 29 Jan 2016 21:23:43 -0800

BONDO residents yesterday performed a Tero Buru ritual to commemorate the death of Cord leader Raila Odinga's son Fidel. They sprinkled changaa and busaa and slaughtered a goat to 'share' with Fidel “who is thirsty”. The ritual is performed by a ...

Aljazeera.com

Aljazeera.com
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 04:49:38 -0800

In the slums of Kenya, "changaa" is a popular alcoholic drink, and brewing the grog is a source of livelihood for many. Changaa, which literally means "kill me quickly", has a high alcohol content. But it's often adulterated with other more poisonous ...

BBC News

BBC News
Thu, 02 Sep 2010 06:17:17 -0700

Kenya's president has signed into law a bill which legalises the traditional home-brewed spirit changaa. The Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill is partly intended to stop people from dying after drinking adulterated moonshine. The BBC's Angela Ny'endo in ...

The Economist

The Economist
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 08:32:42 -0800

Urbanisation, with its many benefits, also means more slum-dwellers living on chips, changaa and cigarettes, and getting less exercise. Still, people like Ms Magesa are learning how to cope with their conditions. That knowledge alone will help. She has ...

The Quietus

The Quietus
Mon, 07 Sep 2015 03:07:30 -0700

The song in fact tells the story of the night the band went off road to Charles Owoko and Joseph Nyamungu's village home, partying and jamming through the night with locals and litres of a local brew called 'Changaa' (rumoured to contain jet fuel and ...

The Guardian

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Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:00:00 -0700

I Made You/You Made Me is a gloriously upbeat exercise in African pop, written by singer and keyboard player Jesse Hackett for his daughter, while the pounding dance songs include Luo Land, and Changaa Attack, featuring a chorus of fishermen's children.
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