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My journey to "Hustling"

Updated on October 12, 2012

My first day in Nairobi, Kenya

How I landed in Nairobi would be an interesting story to talk about, this is because unlike others who would make prior arrangements on their accommodation, I made none, and instead I made an impromptu appearance to my distance relative living in Mukuru slums.

Desperation and longing to be in the capital city of Kenya was what motivated me to decide on that criterion. Another reason was that Nairobians are best known for dodging visitors, so I had a notion that if I could have called him prior to my arrival, he could have dodged me by giving false excuses. So I prepared for the worst of the worst and travelled to the city.

Being new in the Town, I had a big problem in tracing the stage for Mukuru stage, on several occasions, I got lost in the streets and I realized later that I had to seek the assistance of someone to direct me. After offering a watch man some 100 bob, I got his assistance when he directed me to the bus stage. That is the time I realized that Nairobians can not help an empty handed person.

Reaching Mukuru Slums, I ranged my distant cousin who was reluctant to pick me, but he finally arrived at the stage for he seemed to have no otherwise since I had already arrived.

The first two days in his house were good; he could do normal shopping concerning households and the rest. But as the Swahili proverb says “Mgeni mkaribishe siku mbili na ya tatu mpe jembe” that is attend to the visitor for two days and on the third day give him a hoe. He decided to do the same changing only the tactic; He disappeared from the house leaving me with nothing to eat. Where he went after work and where he slept I never knew. This was perhaps his method of saying that he didn’t want me in that house.Luckily there was quite a number of soda bottles under his bed. I used to smuggle three to four of them and sell them at sh5 each. From that I could buy Githeri(a mixture of boiled maize and beans) or something else to eat for the day. In Mukuru we used to buy almost every thing, water, toilet, bathroom etc. so I had difficulties in accessing these essential commodities since I had no money. Concerning the toilet, I could trek to the nearest bushes when the call was wanting, or go to those plots which have toilets, just by pretending to visit somebody there, then I would plunge into the toilet, but one day, my antics were known and I was thoroughly warned, Drinking water was not a big issue since I could get it from the food kiosks. Bathroom was rather challenging since a part from the sh.5 mandatory fee, one is required to carry his own water and soap, the commodities which I lacked most times. I practically depended on the rain to get water for bathing, the soap here being not necessary. But anyway life had to go on.

The man used to come once after a number of days; Realizing that his antics were not bearing him any fruit, he decided to employ another method, this time recalling his wife from home. (He is a guy who does not support the issue of people staying with their wives in towns, especially if the wife is not working) When the wife arrived, he told me to look for another accommodation as staying in that house was now “impossible” I had no otherwise but to look for another alternative.

Fortunately, I had made quiet a number of friends in my endeavors of looking for a job. I met with one who was living ‘single’ and after narrating my ordeal to him; He decided to host me in his cube, with the condition of sharing the cost of rent and food. After some time, I got employed in a clothe making company and after settling down, I moved to my own house, married and went on with life. And that is how I landed in Nairobi the capital city of Kenya.


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