It’s Wednesday and as you may know by now it is the day we meet one of the men who work, lives and plays in this city we call home, Nairobi. Our man around Nairobi today is a tweep who many know by his Twitter handle @crazynairobian but you may have met him on the streets and not known who he is. His real name is Jack second name anonymous. He describes himself this way. “My name is Jack – my friends like spelling it with an ‘er’ somewhere in there.” He is a Geek, marketer, teacher, writer and pizza destroyer. He loves life although he is not sure the bastard feels the same way. His passion has always been technology, especially anything that can run on the internet and the best part is, he earns a living dealing with things that run there.
1. Did you grow up in Nairobi? If you did where and how was it growing up here?
Nope. But where I grew up, I could see the city from home if I climbed a tree:-)
I grew up in Kikuyu, just 20 km from Nairobi so I can’t say I came to Nairobi per se as I visited the city quite often. Can’t even remember the first time as it wasn’t really a big deal.
2. What you love about Nairobi
The diversity – which is sometimes hilarious. In most areas, within a hundred meters, you can have a meal in a kibanda and pay a ridiculously small amount or go to a high-end restaurant and pay with your left kidney. You can ask for directions and either get the most polite and helpful of people or get mugged. We don’t like in-betweens I guess. It is extremes.
3. What would you change about Nairobi?
I’m tempted to say nothing but the insecurity I cannot ignore. I’d love it if I can walk around at night without having to worry about kuchapwa ngeta. To drive with my windows down without having to worry that someone will grab my phone. Or worse, that I’ll have to part with my belongings under the threat of a shit bomb. Or park my car and not worry that I will find parts of it missing having decided to explore the city. That I would definitely change.
4. As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
Working in Nairobi has its good and bad moments. The skills available here are awesome. However, the pretenders are equally many. You really have to do your homework before parting with your money, especially for most professional services. You could get the very best or the very worst. Nothing in between.
5. If you had a tourist friend coming in from outside the country what three things would you say to sell them the idea that Nairobi is worth visiting?
The nightlife. This is like no other. The raw energy is just to die for. And the nyama choma and a cold beer are as good a reason to visit this place as any.
The National park. Cliche I know but yes, we have a National Park in the city so I would definitely not leave this one out.
The Matatus. There is no way to explain matatu culture to anyone other than to get them to experience it. It is something every visitor should take the time to experience.
You can interact with Jack on Twitter at .
Man around Nairobi: Gerald Langiri