Another Face of Nairobi – The Biggest Slum in Africa

Imagine living in a wooden shack, with tin roof and muddy floor! No electricity,  no running water. Imagine sharing your latrine with 50 other shacks and imagine living on less than 3 suqare kilometers with a million of other people.  This is everyday reality of people living in Kibera slum.

With thanks to Bryan Jaybee, a photojournalist based in Kibera, we are sharing his thought provoking photo essay: Kibeara in a Day. You can follow Bryan’s photojournalistic work on Instagram

Photo Essay  – Kibera in a Day

      by Bryan Jaybee

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Kibera is Africa’s largest urban informal settlement and home to a bursting population of over half a million  people. It is made up of 13 villages stretching end to end. Gatwekera being the largest of them all.

 

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Nairobi city skyscrapers lies at one end of Kibera casting its shadows in the light of this vast slum where rooftops are made of iron sheets – that gets corrugated and rusty with time.

 

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Businesses boom in Kibera. At every street corner women and men alike are engaging themselves in one or many money making prospects. Food vending is the most common business around.

 

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Samosa is one of the most common street foods around. It is readily available and very much affordable. One would go for 5 Kenyan shillings depending with what’s inside – one with meat inside would go for a higher price. But one thing that stands unchanged, is that they are yummy and very delicious.

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A web of illegal electricity cables crisscrossing each other above the skyline of Kibera. The government is trying very hard to get rid of such by installing legal prepaid electricity to the houses in Kibera. Residents will have to recharge their tokens when it’s over.

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It’s fun and game time for these kids from Kibera’s, Gatwekera village. They are swimming in the murky waters left after a heavy downpour at a road construction site in Lang’ata. Despite all the factors the kids would use whatever little they can find to have fun and enjoy their childhood to its very best.

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Football is a game enjoyed and loved by most people in Kibera, at every open space in you’ll find one or more football teams, playing friendly matches against each other. Kids play the game bare foot, sometimes wearing flip-flops while kicking the ball on hard grounds.

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A young boy stands at a spaza shop waiting to be served by the shopkeeper. Shops like this are a commonplace in Kibera, goods are sold in front and the shopkeeper lives at the back of the shop together with the family. Most spazas do sell easily needed items like matchboxes salt, flour, grocery and many other pocket friendly goods.

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Rainy seasons in Kibera brings a lot of misery and devastation. People standing beside a house at the verge of collapse in Kibera’s, Raila village after a heavy downpour that swept properties worth hundreds of shillings overnight.

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Its night time and business is about to boom in Kibera, along the streets women are selling different kinds of food items – both cooked and non-cooked, and the streets are flooded with people all in a hurry of getting their meal for the night. This can go on and on late into the night when very few people are on the streets heading home from late-night hustles.

About the Author: Bryan  Jaybee,  22  is undergraduate journalism student from Multimedia University of Kenya. Freelance photojournalist living in Kibera, telling stories and giving insights into the daily life in Kibera. “Photography is what I do – something that generated into more than a passion, but if things are not working, then I turn my frustrations and joy into writing.” Bryan is  currently  working on  #KiberaStories, a photo documentary project on Instagram, telling stories from Kibera in a series of exemplary photos and captivating captions. 

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A sneak peak into poorest slum in Kenya