In the bustling city of Nairobi, Wilson Nashion Kanani story unfolds like a riveting novel, blending wealth, scandal, legal battles, and the vibrant nightlife epitomized by the famous 1824 Whiskey Bar & Lounge.
Recent developments have cast a shadow over his success, leading to investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
At the heart of this saga is Kanani’s reported wealth, valued at a staggering Ksh 100 million when considering his bank balances, prime land, homes, and a fleet of luxury automobiles.
The EACC’s move to freeze 11 bank accounts owned by Kanani and his family suggests a deeper probe into potential corruption dealings, drawing attention to the intricacies of a man who holds a prominent position in Nairobi’s social and business circles.
Wilson Kanani’s monthly salary of Ksh 55,886.75 from City Hall, where he is tasked with overseeing advertising companies to ensure compliance with national and county laws, adds a layer of irony to the situation.
How did a public servant amass such wealth, and what led to the freezing of his assets?
One significant aspect of Kanani’s portfolio is the 1824 Whiskey Bar & Lounge, a nightlife hotspot located along Langata Road.
Boasting a vibrant ambiance, the establishment has become synonymous with entertainment, offering an array of choices from food and whiskey to cigars and both local and international beverages.
The club features a VIP lounge, V screens, a smoking area, ample parking, and outdoor seating—an ideal setting for revelers looking to unwind during the weekends.
The club also hosts top DJs such as DJ Exclusive, K the deejay, and DJ Grauchi, ensuring that patrons experience the best in music during their visit. Various themed parties, including Wednesday Culture, Reggae Mondays, Thursdaze, and the widely popular Sunday School, have contributed to 1824’s status as one of Nairobi’s top five preferred clubs and, arguably, the most famous bar in the city.
Owned by Wilson Kanani through Seventeen Forty Nine Limited, 1824 has faced its share of challenges, notably a temporary closure during the pandemic.
In November 2020, the establishment was raided by the police, resulting in a shutdown due to alleged non-compliance with Covid-19 safety measures mandated by former Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. Kanani, in response, took legal action to compel the police to reopen the club, citing significant financial losses and the impact on over 100 employees.
Despite legal battles and claims of harassment by the police, the club successfully reopened in 2021 as Covid-19 protocols eased.
However, the spotlight on Wilson Kanani intensified with the EACC’s revelation that he is worth Ksh 600 million. Investigations are centered around suspicions of corrupt dealings with City Hall. The frozen bank accounts and the detailed inventory of his assets, including a house in Phenom Estate, Lang’ata, a residential house and rental property in Busia, an apartment in Lang’ata’s NHC estate, and another in Kahawa, contribute to the intricate web of this ongoing investigation.
Kanani’s preferred mode of transportation, a Mercedes Benz, adds a touch of opulence to his lifestyle.
The EACC’s claim that his two underage children have Ksh 3.56 million in their accounts further fuels the curiosity surrounding the extent of his financial empire.