How to escape conmen as a Nairobi first-timer.

Nairobi City Photo; Courtesy

Moving to Nairobi for the first time or in a long time is quite a challenge especially with regard to getting conned.It  is worse when moving to the capital for the very first time.More often than not, such people get conned without their knowledge especially due to their ignorance.They are taken advantage of by ‘’wenyeji”(residents) or those who are maliciously intentioned…..Here are a few tips that could help somebody somewhere to reduce the chances of this happening.

1.Know exactly which part of the city that you are going to.
Nairobi is such a closely knit town and knowledge of the particular and specific part you are going to is very important be it the estate you are moving to. For the many people I have interacted with,the first area of the city they ever knew is the area around Afya Center…It is true and on that note,  credit to Afya Center for the role that it has played in the lives of people moving to the city for the very first time.With this knowledge,it saves one time and even resources asking unnecessarily to be shown or given directions to Muthurwa,Langa’ata,Karen,Country Bus,Railways,Jogoo Road,Mombasa Road or any other place.Where possible ask for the details like the costs involved,directions and where to get the right vehicles,in advance before beginning your journey to the city.

Photo; Courtesy

2.Say No to mean No.
At times it is easy to say No but the insinuation is a Yes.When it is a No let it be one that you really mean and let the person you are telling the know get it right.Immediately you get to the capital,there are these kind friends you get even when you don’t need them.It is worse when you have luggage that you are struggling to move around with.”Brother,acha nikusidie. Unaenda wapi?”(Brother,let me help you.Where are you headed to?)There you are,wondering how kind ‘Nairobians’ are.You are wrong my dear.Nobody is going to offer you such service for free.It is an opportunity for someone to squeeze a few notes from your pocket,not coins.You have got to understand the hustling life in the city.Please,unless you can’t avoid,don’t allow every Tom,Dick and Harry to ‘help’ you. Don’t be surprised when your bag or whichever luggage it is,is carried over a 100 meter distance for a whooping Ksh 200-500.This is very common especially from Afya Center to Country Bus.

3.Agree on the cost beforehand.
At this point especially for a first timer,you are not familiar with costs of moving around town probably with your luggage and it is really to find yourself overspending when it can be avoided.If you are to be assisted in carrying anything while moving around town,agree on how much you are to pay in good time to avoid any disputes that may arise after getting to your destination and keep watch keenly lest you loose everything.The guys who help in doing that in most cases are rowdy and any pay dispute involving you and them can be very embarrassing.

4.Stay in constant communication with your host.
Continuous communication with your host at the city helps in tracking in case anything happens.Those who travel over long distances are the most affected with regard to this.You will find yourself listening to songs in your phone and watching videos at least to keep you busy and overcome the boredom that at times comes with long safaris.Before you realize it,you will be in the city with your phone out of charge and therefore no communication would be possible over the phone.Nobody is going to assist you with his or her phone in the city unless your relative.You realize at that level that everyone for himself and God for us all.

5.Safeguard your mobile phone and accessories.
Chatting with your phones carelessly is a No.Get to understand you are not strolling in your home compound where the highest level of insecurity is the cockerel chasing after the hen.Here there are good ‘chokoras’ and the bad ones,so guess which ones will take advantage of your situation and empty you of everything.Can you tell who is for good and who is not well intentioned?Food for thought.

6.Stay vigilant,confident and very aggressive.
My friends tell me that, “shit happens’’.This is when the last thing you expected happens.Let us say may be you forget where you were told to pick something.It happens,we are human beings.Do not look so desperate because business minded people like myself will see that a loophole and charge you Kshs 200 to show you where KICC building is.I hope you are getting the point.”Kaa ngumu” which loosely translates to “stay hard”.Be strong and of courage,a bible verse I remember, talks about that.

KICC Photo; Courtesy

7.Sort your cash into denominations.

Photo; Courtesy

In denominations,your money will be easy to handle.
Imagine a situation where you board a matatu in town for a distance of Kshs 30 and you dish out a Kshs 1000 note.Does that make sense?There is a possibility that you will have to wait for your balance and end up forgetting or you may be shortchanged unlike if you had a Kshs 50 note.Another situation,you may have been assisted in transporting your luggage and then charged Kshs 100 but you bargain mercilessly that you only have Kshs 70 and then you give Kshs 500.If it is me you are dealing with,think again.
Enjoy the City life…………


​ I have been out of school for quite some time now because of the Lecturer’s strike. I am not […]

2 thoughts on “How to escape conmen as a Nairobi first-timer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *