How to not get robbed in Nairobi, according to the powers that be

Monday January 28 2019

By ABIGAIL ARUNGA
More by this Author
  • Don't wear anything that looks like it has any value whatsoever when you go to the city centre. Upon approaching places of high traffic, such as your bus stage, or Kencom, or the GPO roundabout, start to shed articles of clothing that look costly, such as jackets lined with fake fur or shoes that don't look second hand. Clothing with a few well-placed holes should do, signs of wear and tear. If you don't look the part, then you won't play the part of the victim. Meanwhile, don't look too poor, because then the police will be forced to grab you off the streets and violently assault you. Find an even middle ground.
  • Don't take your phones into town when you know that there are people there who want those phones. If you must take a phone into town, make sure it's worth less than 1,000 shillings. Throw it on the ground a few times at home, to make it look battered and not worth the time it would take to steal. Don't take it out past Tom Mboya Street, either. If you must communicate with people, agree on a time and place that both parties must be there, and get there and wait. Taking out your phone is certain to have dire consequences. When pressed, use smoke signals or go home.
  • When walking through town, take care to avoid crowds of people except for the crowd that you are walking with, for safety. This sounds difficult but believe me, there are streets that you can walk on that have absolutely no one on them, especially in the middle of the day. Just because these streets have not been identified yet, does not mean that they don't exist. Two is a couple but three is a crowd. Make sure you are keeping a Christian distance from those near you, at least an arm's length away from anyone who looks like they're getting too close.
  • Leave your electronics at home. Ask your boss if you can work from home, as carrying a laptop to work has become very dangerous. Ladies, avoid wearing earrings or any form of tempting bodily decoration, such as weaves or sparkly bracelets, as this only makes the situation worse. If possible, firmly tie your handbag to your waist instead of carrying it on your shoulder, as the seduction of a swaying bag can prove too much for certain depraved members of society.
  • Finally, remember that security starts with you, and if you get robbed, for the most part, it is your fault. Do your business in the day in broad daylight, preferably in front of police stations only, or the city council cops. You must avoid looking enticing to criminal gangs, as the county police boss says. Keep in mind that these people are hardened criminals, who cannot resist their deadly impulses. Therefore you must do all you can to make sure you are not a target. What are you wearing? Where are you going and why are you going there? Did you want to be robbed? Ask yourself these questions before you leave the house. If you can, dear Kenyans, don't leave the house at all. It's a dangerous world out there. Your home and/or your children need not suffer for your own ignorance.

Twitter: @AbigailArunga