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Humans of urbanization

Bonface Wandera, Nairobi, Kenya

CRAVING FOR SPACE

Our mission at KONE is to improve the flow of urban life. To capture the essence of urbanization, we bring you stories of people from 17 cities. Nairobi is rapidly urbanizing but Bonface Wandera plans to move out, after having spent 10 years in the capital. Here’s why.

“Sometimes when I stare through my open window towards Nairobi's largest slum – Kibera, I realize how this city has grown very quickly. I see many kids running down the dusty streets at full speed, giggling and weaving between food stalls, chickens and mangy dogs. The noise of construction is all over. New buildings and business are still emerging despite this kind of congestion.

I work at a cyber café and usually walk to work in the mornings because of traffic jams. My wife is a grocer. She transports food items from rural areas to the city where she makes a good profit. Her business is doing well in the city. In that way, urbanization has really helped her transform our lives. I have a 3-year-old son and I have been saving the little money I get from work to ensure he goes to a good school next year.

Like most people in the city, I came from the countryside, not far from Lake Victoria, 10 years ago hoping to find a job. There were many job opportunities at the time, and life was very easy. But things have now changed. Everyone wants to come to the city and there’s no space. Nairobi is getting expensive. House rentals have gone up. Even buying food is expensive.

I’m planning to move out of the city and return home, where I will set up my own business with money I have saved while working in the capital.”

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