Release 3.0
Migrants and Masculinity in High-Rise Nairobi
Description: Migrants and Masculinity in High-Rise Nairobi
Chapters
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count246
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count224
Before I started writing Migrants and Masculinity in High-Rise Nairobi: The Pressure of Being a Man in an African City, I had spent more than five years trying to write a book about the struggles of the inhabitants of Kaleko, a small marketplace in Homa Bay County. Progress was slow and revolved around some half-baked ideas that unconvincingly linked the various articles I had...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count837
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count27
‘Have you heard about the soldier who was killed by his wife here in Pipeline?’ Andrew Most personal names as well as the names of a few places and organizations, such as Kaleko, the No Mercy Gym, or the NGO Maendeleo, are in fact pseudonyms. To further protect various identies, I sometimes rely on composite...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count8,593
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count6
In November 2018, when I went to Pipeline for the first time, Samuel picked me up from my hotel in Nairobi’s central business district (CBD). When we got off at one of Pipeline’s matatu (Kiswahili, ‘bus used for public transport’) ranks after being stuck in Nairobi’s notorious traffic for over an hour, I...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count9,126
As I branched into the street leading to the No Mercy Gym on a sunny morning, I encountered a circle of roughly 100 people. Forcing my way through the crowd, I caught a glimpse of a body lying in the middle of the small crowd. At the end of the street, I could see Carl, Godwin (one of our training partners), and Carl’s wife sitting opposite the gym. ‘What happened?’, I inquired...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count9,289
The romantic relationship between Immaculate Chepkemei and Samuel Onyango began where many romances in Pipeline begin: on the balcony. While men and women flirted on balconies, communal bathrooms were places for extramarital affairs (Kiswahili, kugeuza diet, ‘to change diet’) or quick sex between...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count8,818
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count6
‘Ho … Mi … Si … Ki’. While we walked through the muddy streets of Pipeline, Patrick Ouko pronounced the syllables carefully, and with a small break between each one:
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count7,267
The No Mercy Gym was basic: two adjacent single rooms with wooden doors, peeling paint, no mirrors, no advertisements, a pungent smell emanating from the communal latrines, rats running around, mould on the walls, and the irritating beeping of electricity meters announcing the upcoming disappearance of stima (Kiswahili, ‘electricity’) if not fed with money soon. The gym was...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count7,527
When I asked him about his favourite book on masculinity and manhood, Philemon Otieno, author of biographically inspired self-help books, social media personality, and childhood friend of Samuel and Arthur, told me to read Brett and Kate McKay’s The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man (2009). He had showcased the book on his WhatsApp status on a few...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count8,433
Before vacating my home in Pipeline in August 2022, I walked through the estate to identify what had changed since I had moved to the ‘concrete tenement jungle’ (Mwau 2019) three years earlier. Though the social, political, and economic upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were more or less a thing of the past, male migrants were now wrestling with the impacts of another crisis...
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count2,942
Author
Mario Schmidt
PublisherJames Currey
Word count6,380