The Kenyan elections have prompted hate speech and intimidation, but one group is working across ethnic backgrounds to promote unity
Peter Oloo wiggles his way through the maze ahead of him, easily avoiding hitting, or getting hit by, the dozens of people moving between the narrow streets of Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Every few metres he stops, fist-bumping childhood friends or respectfully bowing when shaking hands with older women.
“These were my mothers when growing up,” he says. “Here, we used to look out for each other. Everyone was their brother’s keeper.” Kibera is made up of 13 villages crammed into 2.5 sq kilometres and has an estimated population of 250,000 people. The unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 22%, with most of those being the young, many of whom live in informal settlements such as Kibera. “It is this group of people that is most vulnerable during this political season,” Oloo says. “Everyone lives peacefully here,” says his colleague Eric Mwanzia. “Until the politics start.”