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Don’t Get Mugged In The Streets Of Nairobi

5 ways to stay safe in the city

BY Pauline Katethya

Mar 17, 2021, 10:04 AM

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Nairobi is an interesting city. It’s a city that reminds you that you are not wise or smart as you think you are. A city that humbles even the rich. Here, no one is spared from its drama, cruelty, and robbery. You’ll think you are safe, but you aren’t. It’s a city overflowing with greed and people will use whichever means just to get money or put food on the table.

You cannot afford to let your guard down because you never know when things will go south. Here are some tips that will help you.

Beware Of Street Kids 

I used to love street kids. I saw them as innocent kids, pitied them, and from time to time I’d give them some coins, until one threatened to smear me with poop. In the middle of the day, folks. Nowadays, I don’t hate them, I just fear them. When I see one, I always walk in the opposite direction, and this is what you should do too.

Not all of them are dangerous, but it’s good to be safe because you never know which ones will unleash terror on you. Some will gang up against you and rob you in the broad daylight when everyone is watching, even the security guards. Those who carry gunias are the worst because that’s where they hide the poop. How they get it and hide it inside there is still something that puzzles me. 

Avoid Gatherings Or Crowded Places 

There are people in town who gather to talk about politics or any human interest stories. It’s important to note that not everyone in these gatherings is there to share their opinions. There will be two or three thieves in the midst and when you are not watching, they’ll slip away with your phone.

Crowded places are a thriving place for thieves, mostly when you are crossing the road. With the overcrowding and confusion in town, someone will take advantage of this, snatch your bag and disappear in the crowd.

Steer Clear Of Promotion Cons

There are plenty of scammers who sell merchandise like electronics in town. They'll convince people to buy one product and get another one for free, but only if they pay a registration fee. As you pay for the fee, they will secretly obtain your PIN or offer to help with the activation and then transfer your MPesa balance to their account. Most will use the National ID since most people set these numbers as their PINs.

Others will dupe you into giving them a certain amount of cash with the promise of doubling it up. The more you play this game, the more you lose money and before you know it, you don’t have any left, since these guys don’t return any cash. 

Keep Your Distance

Avoid handshakes or any type of body contact. Thieves will approach you and make it look like you guys know each other. Once you shake their hand or get too close, they'll blow a drug in your face. This will confuse you and before you know it, you've handed out your belongings or anything they ask you to. 

They use a drug called Scopolamine, popularly known as the Devil's Breath. Once it enters the bloodstream it immediately affects the brain, turning a normal human being into an auto-suggestible hypnotized subject who believes and obeys anything they hear.
It’s hard to recall what happened because the drug sort of wipes your memory. So guys keep your distance.

Don’t Use Your Phone In A Matatu 

We know we shouldn’t do this but there are times when you have to receive a phone call or reply to a message. Most times we think, the thief will be outside near the window, just waiting for the opportunity to grab it.

Nowadays some are disguised as passengers. The other day, as people boarded the bus, someone stood from their seat, snatched two phones from passengers, and before people knew what was happening, he was out of sight. Be careful before taking that phone out of your pocket, you never know where the thief is hiding.

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