The capital city of Kenya is on the global watch list of top five fast modernizing cities that are attracting new global business.

The city is also taking off as a hub for global corporations looking to establish an office to cover the East African region, according to Global Cities – The 2016 Report by Knight Frank. Nairobi hosts tremendous Somali refugees when the civil strife erupts in Somalia in 1991. Additionally, Somalis have three counties in Kenya out of 47 counties totally.

The third powerful politician in Kenya is Somali namely (Aden Barre Duale), the majority leader. In the national assembly, they are around 15 Mps out of 349. According to different statistics, Somalis are becoming one of the majority tribes in Kenya after KIKUYA, JALWA and KALENJIN.

Eastleigh (ISLII) shifts from residential area to commercial area

Previously, this village known as (Small Mogadishu) was residential area, where most of the Somalis live in Nairobi gathered. But, unexpectedly the area transformed into business place. And this change has pros and cons. First, the village has no adequate roads, and this causes incompatibility towards the population density and the insufficient roads. If we mull over and engage profoundly the situation of the Somalis live in Eastleigh, we can unearth how they are dissatisfied about the overpopulation in the area and the bad health it caused. Because, since the civil war erupts in Somalia n 1991 up to present, Somalis had been spilling over this country looking for safety and stability.

Different reasons to arrive

Somalis came in Nairobi with different objectives, some of them come for looking a safety; some others come for education purposes, some others for creating business. Additionally, there is large number who came just for nothing! They just came to dilly-dally. Majority of this group are ladies, who either fled from their families or having a clandestine aims.

Power outage and Water shortage!

The ugly and ail stories of this village is, there is no permanent and credible electricity and adequate water. In Eastleigh, you can’t rely on the electricity, because, Kenya power is the one disperses the electricity and is a public company. So, the government marginalizes and demeans the Somali community in Eastleigh in a different ways. If we juxtapose Eastleigh with the other districts in Nairobi , the difference is ample and blatant.

There is no totally blackout in the other villages in Nairobi except Eastleigh. So, business in ISLII depends on ulterior motives. Every hotel or any other business, even hair-cutting is having a generator which they use after the electricity cuts off. When it comes to the water, every hotel and most of the houses have private wells in order to survive when there is no water. With all these sticky wickets are facing Somalis in Nairobi, and they are still safe and sound!


There is a DRASTIC need for human traffic in Eastleigh!

For the sake of the population overcrowd in this village, it’s possible to hit you someone every minute. For instance, the first avenue, from 08:00 sharp in the morning up to 5:00 sharp in the afternoon, it’s not easy to walk smoothly to the streets. And there is common expression which is used to give the person when something intrusive happens which is (Pole), which means sorry.

In Eastleigh, you can see a young man/woman who is having stress and walking in the streets recklessly, and if you ask them, what is wrong with you? , they plainly say to you, this is Nairobi bro. dude! This means, the live hardship in Nairobi creates so many bad things which are against the social etiquettes.  

Jobless with Housemaid!

The funny and ridiculous part in my observation in Eastleigh is, ladies who are unemployed, and wait just to send them something from the families/friends as dependents, and they have housemaids for eschewing to serve their houses! This intrusive and premature decision led them to became handicaps, deadbeat and totally shamble.

In Nairobi, you can meet up coincidently with some friends, and when you asked them, hey man, we lost you, where have you been since long time? Did you educate, or create a business? They give you sickening answer, no I didn’t educate and create a business, I was just around. Dude and disaster!  


Beggars and street guys (JOQORA) are based in Eastleigh

If you observe the streets in Eastleigh, especially in front of the restaurants and cafeterias, you can find beggars and takers who are demanding and collecting moneys from the people, comparing to the other villages like Westland, Parkland and even in the town known us Center for Business District (CBD), there is less such group. So, the big question is, why all these groups prefer to hunt in Eastleigh? Before anyone answers this question, in my view is, this is deliberate intrusive action against the Somalis in order to humiliate and downgrade their status.

Furthermore, Somalis have gigantic business in Kenya, especially Nairobi, and they are taxpayers, but there strong business and their status in the country is not equilibrium!

Extreme exploitation against the girls/ladies!

With all these challenges and obstacles against the gullible Somali community in Nairobi, notably Eastleigh (Small Mogadishu), the ladies encounter extra problems. When they come in Nairobi aimlessly, they join family, maybe relatives or friends. After days, they face challenges from the family they live with. Because, Nairobi, there is no sympathy for the sake of the live hardship, so they prefer to relocate.

After days and hours of confusion, they receive advices from the friends saying hey! You can work and depend on your own, so go to the market and look for job. They instantly start looking for job in order to take their destiny into their hands. Getting descent job is not easy, so mostly they get job from the restaurants and cafeterias.

From here, ladies start to live independently; they hire or share with others a single room.

They begin coming late if they work in the night shift. From now on, they are susceptible to the hunters. There are boys/gents who are accustomed and tended to exploit the innocent girls/ladies.

They use money to attract them, most of them are Diaspora and they sexually violated/harassed the ladies! Sad, ordeal, creepy and totally deplorable. Because, Diaspora became bully towards the ladies.

Somalis, soft target

The other single panic problem that Somalis confront is, when something bizarre happens, such as security threat, then automatically and immediately Somalis become the primary victim even if the issue is not associated with Somalis. Dude! And there are plenty of factors behind to demean and marginalize the Somalis including, lack of unity within Somalis.

There are large portion of Somali business community in Kenya, especially Nairobi-Easttleigh, but the disaster is, they are disunited. Like this cumbersome situation, there is an immense need for unity and solidarity within Somalis in order to approach the naked aggressive and the omnipotent from the Kenyan security personnel against the gullible Somali community in Kenya.  

Cheap man’s trap

In Eastleigh, there are enormous places which are tended to delude the people and dilly dallies. In other words, there are numerous places, mostly, cafeterias which gather the losers in order to waste their precious time. From 9th to 12th streets in Eastleigh, there are tremendous areas which tend to dawdle by chewing miraa (khat), drinking SHISHA, smoking cigarettes, listening music and other dirty issues. Disaster! One night, I observed those places so as to meet the untold stories in Eastleigh; unfortunately, I have seen so many heart touching issues.

On the other hand, in these dirty areas, you can see some people, who were vanished from their families since while, and we hear every day from the BBC, that their families are traded away finding them.


  • Having peer group within Somali business community in Kenya in order to dodge any inconvenient against the innocent Somali people and their business as well.
  • To orchestrate pressure group who advocate their primary problems and way out.
  • Giving Somalis the first priority when it comes to creating employment opportunities.
  • Respecting and protecting the cherubic Somali ladies/girls.
  • Awareness creation programs for women and youth living in Easlieght to improve their socioeconomic status.

    Anwar Abdifatah

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect’s editorial stance.