Nairobi: the City in the Sun


A lot has been said about the city but not enough has been told. Quickly awakening from slumber and emerging as Africa’s go to place when in search of business, culture or simply life experience. Nairobi has cut a niche for itself for its unpredictable surprises for whoever dares to walk in its streets.

Skyscrapers paint the city skyline as is the norm in every metropolis in the world. Architecture lovers will marvel at the mixture of old and new buildings that are distinctive and show transition from the past with a vision of the future.

Matatu’s have always been a part and parcel of the city since their introduction from post-independence. What is most striking about them is their evolution from simply a means of transport to entertainment. With pre-installed Wi-Fi systems, flat inch screens, loud banging speakers, posh interiors amongst others have revolutionized and brought global acclaim to this waking giant.

When walking in the neighborhoods, graffiti is a common sight as street artists give their views on what is happening.”Art is the lifeline that holds everything together and gives us a chance to escape”, said Judas a graffiti artist whose works are quickly gaining prominence in the Eastland’s area.

Not that I am trying to paint a Utopian society that everything is perfect. More is actually wrong than right but it’s the people’s resilience in tough times and difficulties is why Nairobians are loved.

On gloomy days the fashionistas remind us of how we are responsible of our own happiness. With well put together outfits and an attitude to match, the streets are transformed to the runways similar to those found in Paris and Milan. Fashion bloggers and experts online are ever on the increase with a somewhat expert advice on what to do or don’t.

Nowhere else in the world offers exemplary scenery for shoots and this is evident in the number of films both international and local films that have been short here. A fine example is Nairobi Half life which was a smashing hit due to its fine crafted storyline and honest depiction of the underworld.

Despite all this great things mentioned, what makes the city tick is not the ever increasing infrastructure, the numerous cultural festivals or the dreams that fuel our existence; the city is only great because we are.

By Ogano Otieno