Insecurity. Muggings. Theft. Garbage. That’s what Dandora is associated with. In an attempt to see if this is all that this 40-year-old settlement in Nairobi’s Eastlands District is all about, we ventured there last January under the guidance of a team from Dandora Hip Hop City.
And from the moment we arrived, our perceptions were changed for the better.
Our first visit was to Ukoo Flani Mau Mau, widely regarded as the birthplace of Kenyan hip hop. There we found members of Wasafi Organisation, a community initiative that engages in clean ups of Dandora to restore this estate that was set up with the help of the World Bank to it’s former glory.
As Kalamashaka anthems played in our heads, we continued with our tour which took us the Dandora Community Centre which houses Ragos Gym, run by 11-time Mr Kenya Body Building Champion, Mikey Ragos. Here, he is passing on the knowledge that saw him fly the Kenyan flag high to other Kenyans.
After a lunch made up of hot fried potatoes soaked in tomato sauce, we proceeded to visit Dandora Hip Hop City where upcoming visual and performing artistes sharpen their skills with mentorship from those who’ve gone ahead of them.
Our last stop for the day was the Dandora Dumpsite, where all of Nairobi’s garbage ends up, about 2,000 tons of it, every day.
Here are more photos that changed our perception about Dandora.