Age of Zinc is proud to present the third installment in a new memoir from the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
As I got interested with the topic I learnt that crime was truly accepted and consciously or unintentionally the crime mentorship programme has continued in the settlement where younger boys of ages between 10 -15 years who have dropped out of school for various reasons get involved in snatching hand bags, phones and possessions to unsuspected motorists and passersby along Juja road and after a while those who gain confidence very early move their snatching job into town.
The next set of petty criminals will be seen in the settlement involved in burglary within the settlement especially in the unsecured areas of the settlements. Note that secured areas are those that the residents have designed a response to insecurity that is feared by those wishing to steal in their neighborhood.
The most feared response is use of ‘mob-justice’ which sees a number of young boys being lynched whenever caught or suspected of stealing or being a thief. (will relook at the issue of mob injustice again).
The ‘mob justice’ and police killings according to most criminals have graduated the youths into armed robbers, or has enticed them to become big timers. As big timers the group becomes professional in their job and they stop terrorizing their neighbors and instead engage themselves into other forms of crime outside their settlement.
It is at this point that the community start recognizing them as their heroes and the young men are made celebs by their peers and parents. It is this group that mentors the young ones. This group’s motto is to “live young as a king than live poor the rest of your life”.
The group believes that luck and death are the same they all come once. Therefore their hope is that one day the catch will be enough to take them and their families out of poverty.