The most stylish social club on the face of the continent, the League of Extravagant Grannies will force you to rethink everything you thought about what it means to be called grandma
Words: Tshiamo Seape
The truth is: the world is very predictable. Almost everything you expect to happen happens in exactly the way you expect it to. There are no real surprises, just minor alterations along the path. Also, that’s completely untrue. Life has no rule book its predictability applies to being surprised – which is to say you can count on it – today. While sitting at your desk or in your bed, you certainly never expected to come across a story about globe-trotting grannies with a flair for fashion, and a taste for travel. But, here you are soaking in the unexpected and loving it.
Retirement is supposed to be a subdued affair. Long walks and longer naps are the norm for people who’ve been working their whole lives. Retirement is perpetual “me-time”, with nobody but you calling the shots. However, as appealing as this sounds, we aren’t interested in the norm, and neither are The League of Extravagant Grannies.
Once again, our story begins in Kenya. Three women, Titans really, have made it their business to live large and with no apologies. Having spent their lives at the top of their collective games in various industries, these retired grannies are now spending their twilight years jet setting across Africa and doing it with style.
Little is known about this exclusive group, but in recent years more information has come to light. The group as a whole is comprised of elderly women who previously held high ranking positions within Kenya’s government and corporate structures. Years of building their name within these structures have given them the means to make the most of their retirements. With cult-like dedication, the League travels across Africa hitting up only the most exotic and exclusive destinations. Wherever they touch down they are greeted with fanfare and adoration (no doubt their iconic style has something to do with it). To the concierges, taxi drivers, and airline staff of every kind, members of the league are hard to miss and nearly impossible to forget, but to the rest of us they remain a mystery. We caught up with three of them and introduce them to the world.
MS. M ADHIAMBO – FORMER MINISTER OF TRADE & INDUSTRY (1972-1980)
A fierce negotiator in her youth Ms Adhiambo is now ready to indulge in the finer things. You can catch her reclining poolside enjoying a cocktail at her leisure, whenever the League assembles at their destination of choice.
MRS. KAMAU NJUGUNA – FORMER GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF KENYA (1980-1985)
As the former governor of the reserve bank, Mrs Njunguna has had her name on the money. She knows how to make it, and how to spend it. She is the resident party animal of the group, and proud of it. Looks are deceiving because this granny is ready to party until the early hours of the morning. A seasoned bar hopper, Mrs Njungu can always be called upon to keep the good times rolling.
MRS. S WERE – FORMER ECONOMIST AND PERSONAL ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT (1972-1992)
The most adventurous member of the group by far, she never lets her age stand in the way of a good time. Being the personal advisor to the president meant years of high-stress high stakes encounters with some of the most powerful people in the world. A 20 year trial by fire has made her fearless. Leaping from planes, rock climbing, and tearing up the dunes of Africa’s deserts is child’s play compared to the years spent in the service of the president. Mrs Swere, we salute you.