What does it mean to make a life in an African city today? How do ordinary Africans, caught between the remains of empire and global city fantasies, try to ensure a place for themselves in the future? Nairobi is on the cusp of radical urban change as state-led mega-projects seek to turn it into a ‘world-class’ city. Yet traces of the past have powerful afterlives: Nairobians also live amongst the vestiges of imperial urban planning that was designed to regulate colonial subjects. Based on
ethnographic research in Kaloleni, a colonial-era public housing estate
now slated for urban renewal, Nairobi in the Making explores how projects of self-making and city-making are entwined. Constance Smith is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester.
Published in association with the British Institute in Eastern Africa.