In a city where sex has been commoditised, men and women are going the extra length to get a dose. Pumping alcohol into a woman or man to loosen their control is no longer cool. The in-thing is a silent killer nick-named Molly, the latest fad among narcotic drug users in Kenya.
The sugary crystals have become common in Nairobi’s posh parties. It has gained notoriety as the latest rape drug, with numerous cases of female users being sexually assaulted by their male companions, dealers or taxi drivers.
Among its street names are clarity, hug, lover’s speed, beans and love drug. “Molly makes you hyper sexually active, and excited. If there are no ladies around, male users can find themselves touching each other,” a user told Sunday Standard.
Molly is thought by many users to be a “pure” form of MDMA or Ecstasy, a hallucinogenic party drug which is often laced with dangerous substances. The drug was entirely synthetic, based on a stimulant called methylone that is turned into capsules or powder form to be snorted or ingested.
The party drug of choice for the dance generation, Molly has increasingly come under the spotlight in the past year, surging into popular culture through the mouths of some celebrities.
In Kenya, it can easily be bought around Nairobi, especially in affluent neighbourhoods like Karen, Hurligham, Lavington, Westlands and Spring Valley. Dealers even deliver to known clients’ doorsteps or in their cars and at clubs, according to a recent report in the Standard.
According to the UN World Drug Report, an estimated 10 to 25 million people use Molly at least once a year. In Kenya, it sells for between Ksh3,000 and Ksh 5,000 per 100 grams on the black market.
Molly, which has taken the Kenyan narcotics market by storm despite its life threatening side effects, is a brown sugar crystal substance. Hardly any house party worth its name takes place without Molly, flavoured bhang and cocaine if the attendees include expatriates, rich kids and artists.
A popular club off Waiyaki Way, another in Upper Hill area and several city centre joints are known hotspots. It can be found in basement parkings of high end business complexes that host entertainment spots.
Another nightclub in Karen targeting white settlers and rich Kenyans is also a known Molly joint. The Westlands joint is a well-known stop-over for drug addicts to make rendezvous with their suppliers. Known for its rustic ambience, this club teems with foreign clients.
Here, all you need to purchase a dosage of Molly or cocaine is to be a known customer, be a white expatriate and/or in the company of one.
Hamisi Masa, head of Kenya’s Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU), says the use of synthetic and prescription drugs is on the rise. “We have heard of Molly but there have been no reported seizures. There is a notable use of these drugs by middle-class Kenyans,” Masa said.
It can be easily bought in parties organised by a popular event management company that is Kenya’s unofficial drug abuse get-together. A dealer of North African origin, who was the main Molly supplier in Nairobi, was forced to leave the country after he was, on more than two occasions, accused of preying on his drugged female clients.
Molly has similar ingredients as MDMA, which was initially developed as medication for depression and is a combination of laboratory created chemicals. Its users take it either in capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form.
A grandson of former Defence Minister Njenga Karume is one of the suspects facing charges related to the drug. Police claim they recovered drugs, among them Molly, at James Njenga Kihato’s posh Lavington house in July 2016.
Researchers list Molly’s short term effects as muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, teeth grinding, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, increased temperature and sweating and depression.
Its long time effects range from insomnia, high blood pressure, liver complications, schizophrenia, jaundice, memory loss and attention deficit.