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Smuggled from Nairobi to Johannesburg

Friday August 2 2019

 

BEATRICE KANGAI
By BEATRICE KANGAI
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At the start of the journey, Mbuthia, our driver, spoke only when giving us instructions and answered our questions in a word or two. He was casually dressed and wore a baseball hat pulled low over his eyes.

It would be days before I finally saw his entire face. The inscription on the strap at the back of his hat read "Madness". In a way, that summarised the nine-day journey we were about to embark on.

On May 25 this year, I followed migrants from Nairobi to Johannesburg, South Africa, under cover. Pretending that I was also running away to South Africa, I paid Sh45,000 to a smuggler who operates under the guise of a travel agent.

I wanted to experience what it was like for people taking the 3,850-kilometre road trip across the southern half of the continent in search of a better life. Little did I know what I was in for.

Read the full story here.