First, I believe every city in the world has its own advantages and disadvantages. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, the better. Nairobi is no exception, it is the capital of Kenya. This means it is the busiest town in Kenya, working on a 24-hour basis. Below are some of the problems you must be ready to face when moving to Nairobi.
1. Traffic jam
This depends on the side of Nairobi where you live. Traffic is a major challenge of living in Nairobi, and I believe in most cities and this shouldn’t prevent anyone from living in Nairobi because the traffic is time-specific, i.e during the morning hours when people leave home for job and evening when people leave job for home. If you wake early, the better. Thika Road, Mombasa Road, Waiyaki and Lang’ata Road and Ngong Road are usually highly congested driving to the town in the morning and driving from the town to the respective neighbourhoods and estates.
2. Street Children
Some years ago they had been cleared from the Capital City but some months back, they have since moved back to the streets. This poses a big security problem because it is hard to differentiate the legitimate beggars from fraudsters.
The downtown area of River Road, Muthurwa, Gikomba, Kariokor and Archives are the most unsafe because many unemployed people are usually hovering around, selling fake mobile phones filled in with mud and defrauding unsuspecting innocent people. However, the central business district is somehow secure but this doesn’t mean you walk with your bag wide open exposing your mac or iPhone. When withdrawing money from an ATM, it is good to always be aware of the place very well, I always use ATMs in shopping malls because it is easy to raise alarm or shout if someone tries to steal you off. Check out this post to see the most insecure estates in Nairobi
I’m not sure whether to call this politics or tribalism or something else and honestly this is a major challenge. You commonly find small gatherings of people talking and arguing about politics. This can cause tension but really this can’t be a reason to make you think twice about moving to Nairobi. Some of the demonstrations can lead to violence and chase offs with the police.
Most of the people don’t want to follow the laws and order, however, they try to look for short cuts to solve their problems. e.g when caught by traffic police or Kanjos, one will be willing to offer a bribe rather than go to the court which will charge them a heavy fine. Another example, for your documents(e.g company registration documents) to be processed, some people will offer to give a bribe for their documents to be processed fast. However, the government is trying hard in eradicating this.
6. Black Outs
I don’t know if it is where I live or what, but am sure every other Nairobi dweller will agree that electricity black outs can be quite frustrating. You have a deadline to meet and you are working on your laptop and the power goes off, you have an examination the next day and power goes off, you have a football match to catch and the power goes off, you have to iron your clothes in the morning, you lazily sleep hoping to iron them the next morning but you wake up and find there is no power. Then there is this analogy of whenever it heavily rains, power goes off, I have never understood this.
7. Water Shortage
This depends on where one lives. I cannot comprehensively state the areas that have water challenges. When looking for housing, you will need to inquire about this. If you find an estate with a borehole the better.
This depends on which country you are moving from when shifting to Nairobi. Generally, the most common food in most eating places is fries, bhajia, rice, biriani, chicken, ugali, nyama choma, fish fillet, kienyeji (please google most of these). This depends on how fast you can adapt to a new culture, some take long, some adapt fast. For slower adapters, it is a con, for the fast adapters, it can be a huge advantage. Generally the food is well cooked and very affordable depending on which eat out place you choose. Most places sell fries between Ksh 50 and Ksh 100 which is approximately a dollar. A dollar currently exchanges for Kshs. 103. However, most foods courts in shopping malls will contain foods that you may prefer like Chinese dishes, cuisines, most African dishes, Indian foods e.t.c, however this can be expensive depending on the size of your wallet.
I feel though there are a lot of things to make anyone move to Nairobi. A times it’s good to look for the advantages rather than the disadvantages, am an optimist. Many times I find the one reason to stick on something or choose something, rather than the hundreds preventing me from choosing that thing. Hope this article helps you if you are planning to move to Nairobi.