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5 annoying things every Nairobian must go through

Brian Eliani
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Traffic jam in Nairobi[source/Kelvin Odongo/Nairobi]

Nairobi being the capital city of Kenya always has a lot happening during the day and night. 

Some of these things are good, and some can be really annoying. 

Here are five struggles you must have gone through,  or yet to go through during your stay in Nairobi:

1. Rarely getting your rent deposit back

Well,  you can rarely find a place in Nairobi where you will be allowed to rent a house without paying a deposit fee, which in most cases is the same amount as monthly rent. 

You will always be told that the deposit fee is refundable when you leave that particular place, but more often than not when you leave,  you will pursue that money until you give up, and never get it back. 

2. Waiting for your balance after paying the bus fare

You get into a bus or matatu, and the fare is Ksh 50 for example, and you give the conductor a Ksh1000 note. 

When it comes to giving back the balance, you have to remind them constantly, and that makes them even more arrogant.

This sometimes makes you feel like telling the conductor to stop the bus and give you your change so that you can alight even if you haven't reached your destination yet. 

The fear of the conductor disappearing with your money will always be haunting you. 

3. Having to queue to board a bus/matatu

During rush hours in Nairobi, you have to queue for a long time before you get into a bus. 

It's even worse during the rainy season. 

On top of that, the traffic jam you will have to endure before you get to where you are going will be very frustrating. 

4. Lost direction

Nairobi is a big city that you really need to be around for a long time to know every corner. 

Some places may seem common to others, but very new to you. 

I remember after being in Nairobi for like a year,  a friend told me to pick him at "Nyamakima", that was the first time I heard of such a place.

I had to walk for a long time before I finally found the place two hours later. 

I then realised it was just almost the same place I had alighted from before I started the search. 

5. Being conned or mugged

Different people use different survival-techniques in Nairobi. 

My friend and I saw a very good phone being sold on OLX. We contacted the 'seller' and agreed to meet somewhere in Nairobi. 

The guy even had an 'office', and we were shown the phone.  Everything seemed perfect,  we paid and left with the phone.  

After getting home,  that's when we realised he had swapped the phone during packaging and put a fake phone in the box. 

When we went back to the 'office', the setting inside was completely different, as it was now a barber shop with different tenants. 

That's when we realised we had been conned. 


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-Brian Eliani

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