Mathare Slum

Increasing urbanization has led to concentration of youth in Kenya’s slums, where around 70% of inhabitants are below the age of 30. The Mathare Valley is located in the Eastlands of Nairobi and it’s the oldest and second largest urban slum in Kenya after Kibera. Kids who do go to school, study in dark, airless, packed classrooms. Poverty and lack of role models make many young people drop out of school and live on the streets: a life characterized by crime, hustling, violence, drugs and unemployment. Nai Nami Tours is empowering the city’ youth by harnessing the skills that they’ve gathered while growing up places like Mathare.

Kissmart, Cheddaz and Donga

Kissmart, Cheddaz and Donga grew up on the street of Nairobi. Kissmart was a trafficker, Cheddaz was a snatcher, and Donga was an all round hustler.

"I started trafficking when I was 7, thats when I started doing bang, marijuana and glue."

- Kissmart Bakra

Music is Power

Eventually, while looking for a studio, the trio was accepted into a music scholarship which enabled them to get exposed to new knowledge, people and ideas. It also helped them develop musically by learning new techniques, music theory as well as working with different people and styles.

Nai Nami tours

In 2016 Gianmarco Marinello and Sriram were studying Social Innovation Management at the Amani Institute in Nairobi. On a trip to Mathare to see how they could make an impact they met Donga, Cheddaz and Kissmart. Amazed and inspired by the skillset the former streetkids had, something started to grow and shortly thereafter Nai Nami was born. Nai Nami, meaning ‘Nairobi with me’ in Kiswahili, is a city tour that guides you through Nairobi as you immerse yourselves in stories from guys who raised themselves there.

As you walk through Nairobi’s Central Business District or CBD, the guys share narratives and experiences of those very neighbourhoods that have shaped their lives. They are ever so motivated to connect with people as well as tell alternative stories about the streets of Nairobi.

Our Streets. Our Stories

Nai Nami began as a model to empower the city’ youth, harnessing the skills that they’ve gathered while growing up in diverse neighborhoods. Now, they offer a unique opportunity for travelers to experience Nairobi through the eyes of street children – truly local, homegrown, and inspired by social change.

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