Nairobi is one of those places which seems to have had everything turned up to 11. Its noise, colour, heat, traffic, population, pollution, smells, security, crime, wealth and poverty are an assault on the senses.
Home to three and a half million residents, or six and a half million if you include the suburbs, the Kenyan capital is the manufacturing, industrial, and financial hub of East and Central Africa.
But the Nairobi’s commercial success is juxtaposed with its poverty. According to a 2014 World Policy report 60 percent of its residents live in slums. In fact the urban slums of Kibera are the largest in Africa with an estimated population of about two million.
It comes as no shock that Nairobi crime levels are high – with regular robberies, burglaries, carjacks, and street crime. In spite of this the positive energy of this city prevails and the smiles people give you as you walk along the street are some of the warmest I have ever had.
Here is a collection of some of my favourite street photographs taken over the last 12 months, while I have been living.
The buses and matatus, with their gaudy hand painted murals from the world of film, music and football, are a colourful but dangerous addition to the streets. As you are cut up for the tenth time that day by one of the matatu drivers, the religious slogans which are often written on the back, will either make you scream or laugh.