Today on Man Around Nairobi we feature David Indeje. David Indeje is a passionate Journalist, passionate about Africa, and he is also a women’s rights activist. He loves everything about digital, helping brands find a voice within it. He is currently, a Digital Marketing Assistant with Cytonn Investments. He loves good African music.
- Did you grow up in Nairobi?
Are you trying to ask if I will ever run for a political office? There seems to be a tendency from our wanasiasa running for office in Nairobi to claim it as a birthright. I was not born in Nairobi, but yes, my early childhood life was spent here. I came to this city in 1992. My parents lived in Suna Estate along Ngong Road near Jamuhuri. I went to school at Riruta Primary School – I still recall my favourite teacher Ms. Muya. She taught me ‘Sound and Read’ because, during my first day in school, my fellow classmates laughed at me for having a heavy Luhya accent in my speech. I swear that was the day I knew mother tongue was shunned in the city. I formatted my brain and within no time, I could not speak Luhya anymore. With time my parents relocated to Wanyee Road.
Back then, I was not allowed to watch TV past 9 pm because it was during that era of: ‘The Rich also Cry’, ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ but guess what, I maximized my time after school. I used to run home for Cartoon time at 4 pm, at times I would be an uninvited guest to the neighbor to watch KTN. (It was the real thing back in the day).
I played kati with the neighborhood girls, hide and seek, fathers and mothers (baba na mama), bladder and hopscotch. Using worn out tires to play with, destroying any barbed wire fence to manufacture great vehicles – today, they are sold to the millennials- to an extent of going for fishing expeditions to catch tadpoles to rear them. Indeed, life was fun.
- What do you love about Nairobi?
In short, Nairobi is the city of opportunities. It molds and shapes you to think differently about life. It is a place where if you are slow, you will be left behind. You have to keep up with the pace.
- What would you change about Nairobi?
I don’t mind the traffic. However, I hate litter. I hate people who don’t know how to put up a sewerage system, they opt to use the river as the solution. I would change the way they dispose of their garbage. I hope the plastic ban comes to light. I want every community in Nairobi to look like the clean State House Road, clean walking lanes with flower bushes alongside, street lights to guide you throughout the night and trees to make everything natural and clean.
As stated earlier, Nairobi has two sides of the coin, the good and the bad. Based on what I do, I would encourage Nairobians to embrace art and theater. There is more to it than just doing movies and playing games on your play station. I would want to make people be real.
I would try to speak out to authorities to make bodabodas (Motorcyclist riders) to respect the traffic rules. It is annoying when they just break them and no one speaks out.
- As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
Working in Nairobi is the real deal. For me, it is not open to what you want. What it gives you is the arena to see what you can do better. The best thing that Nairobi has given me as a professional is networks. Without them, your survival is not assured. Your networks are the ones who will help to propel you further, who will guide you and at the same time destroy you. It is how you play the puzzle in the maze.
The opportunities in Nairobi are great. However, it is not easy to spot them, but good networks will help you out. There is something powerful about leaving one’s mark, making a difference, and truly creating a Nairobi that is empowering and motivating.
The problems people face in Nairobi are real – from lost opportunities and searching for jobs. And they will become more challenging: economic peril, hunger, poverty, climate change, and many other social and political ills.
The key that will determine our present and our future in Nairobi isn’t so much the problems we face, but how we respond to those challenges positively.
- If you had a tourist friend coming in from outside the country what three things would you say to sell them the idea that Nairobi is worth visiting?
I would have to prove to him that Nairobi is “The Green City in the Sun”. My first spot will be The Ngong Race Course and Golf Park for some horse riding and being part of the spectators betting on which horse would win.
My second choice would be the Nairobi National Park. This is what defines Nairobi globally, a city with wild animals roaming ‘wild and free’. I would not forget awesome people playing a big role in animal and wildlife conservation, the Giraffe Center and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Lastly, some real Kenyan food, Ugali must never miss in that cuisine. Tusker Larger, the Kenyan beer, some nyama choma and good smooth Kenyan music.
If you would like to interact with David Indeje you can find him on twitter at @David_Indeje.