• Kenya

    Economic Ingenuity among Nairobi’s Poor

    A recent story in the The Standard details the various ways Nairobi’s low-income earners maximize their earning potential and spending power. The article, “How Thriving ‘Reject Economy’ is Allowing the Poor to Live High Life of the Rich,” by Dominic Omondi looks beyond the “Dollar a Day” trope to reveal the economic ingenuity of Nairobi’s underclass. A few of the examples: Getting discounted prices for cracked eggs, bruised vegetables, misshapen bread, and defective clothing Finding deals from street vendors and informal markets Recovering and washing discarded, but still trendy, hair weaves Selling old newspapers by the page to butchers and shopkeepers Buying scrap electronics for pennies, fixing them, and selling them for a sizable profit During my fieldwork, I became fascinated by the economics of Kibera. Inside Kibera, there…