Kibra else known as Kibera is a division of Nairobi—Kenya’s capital— 6.6 kilometres (4.1 mi) from the city centre. Kibra is the largest slum in Nairobi, and the largest urban slum in Africa.
The 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census report stated that Kibera has 170,070 residents, contrary to other sources like The United Nations, that estimates there may be as many as 1.5 million people living in this densely populated area approximately the size of Richmond Park in London or Central Park in New York. The population size of Kibera is disputed, however it is home to a fifth of Nairobi’s population.
Let us not deny. Most of Kibera slum residents live in extreme poverty, earning less than $2.00 per day. Unemployment rates are high, HIV and AIDS cases are many, as well as cases of rape and assaults are common. There are few schools, and most people cannot afford education for their children. A great majority living in the slum lack access to basic services, including electricity, running water, and medical care. Clean water is scarce, therefore diseases caused by poor hygiene are prevalent.
Here people live in small, cramped, dark single room huts that mostly comprise mud walls, a corrugated tin roof and a dirt or concrete floor. It is common for 5 or more family members to live in one hut and children usually sleep on the hard floor. Due to the open sewage, large rats come into peoples homes, in the heavy rains many huts leak and some near to the river are washed away. Families will cook using small charcoal stoves within their hut which is a health risk and dangerous for small children.
Facts about kibra
POPULATION: Unknown. According to different sources between 500,000 - 1.5 mln. Kiberans
AREA: approx 2.38 km2; 256 hectares
15 VILLAGES: Kianda, Siranga, Soweto East, Gatwekera, Kisumu Ndogo, Kambi Muru, Lindi, Laini Saba, Siranga, Makina, Karanja, Salama, Ayany and Mashimoni
However, as challenging as the life here sounds, Kibera is also a community of extremely strong, very resilient, positive, spiritual, loving, warm, welcoming, talented and creative people.
People here never know if tomorrow is a better day, but they wake up with their heads-up, don’t look and concentrate on the poverty side of their lives and focus on how they can make themselves happy.
Kibera streets are ever busy with self-employed entrepreneurs that seem to start every business possible. No one looks for handouts here, but rather for opportunities that can uplift them and help to better their life circumstances.
Community feeling in Kibera is also very strong. There is no way you can sleep hungry if your neighbour has food. People follow, get positive and get encouraged by each others success, that reminds what people from the same circumstances manage to achieve and how it is possible to better one's life.
Kiberans also love occasions that brings them together, therefore various cultural or family celebrations tends to have lots of guests from the neighbourhood and such activities as Kibera music festivals and soccer tournaments are very popular too. During such events people are able to enjoy their lives, forget their problems for a moment and embrace an opportunity to showcase or learn news ideas and skills from each other.
If you ask us, half of the Kiberans can be called artists. Music, dance, painting, fashion, photography, videography are just a few of the crafts people get into, use for self-expression and telling stories. Vibrant, bold colors abound among the mud huts that have come to define the “Chocolate City” and for a community most often defined by its abject poverty is a source of positivity and happiness.
WORLDWIDELY KNOWN CREATIVES FROM KIBRA
Vincent Oburu · Jesse We’re · Mussa Sadd
Jabidii · Octopizzo · Kayvo Kayforce · Virusi Mbaya · Simple Boy · Otile Brown
Ondivor · Ombedha · Brian Storytela · Gordwin Owino · Biko Makoins · Virusi Mbaya
Hon. Kenneth Okoth · Bennard Okoth
Mammito · Nickee Dee · Smart Joker