When you grow up in the slums (61% of people in Nairobi do), life is hard. No job, no schooling, no future. Unemployment is high (youth around 70 %!), as is crime, alcoholism, and child prostitution. Skills and simple, I call it common sense, isn’t developed. They learn at best basic skills for a ‘profession’ – on the job training; a plumber, a carpenter, a painter. No theory, no other subjects, only a very small window of learning to paint a wall. No newspapers, often no electricity, no water, no sewer, no Internet.
The mentality of poverty it’s called. Your family and those around you are unemployed. Dad has probably left by now, your family and friends try to cope, but sit around a lot. A lot! You’re often hungry; the diet is often corn meal ugali (similar to grits, if I remember correctly) and a kind of spinach, only less nutritious. It’s cheap, but very one-sided. Meat (often chicken left-overs, chew off the bone) is a luxury. Continue reading