The power to represent Kibera residents has been exercised by various agents within the international and local media spaces for many years. In some cases, even Kiberans have exercised this power over each other. The media representation attracts attention that leads to vast monetary contributions and financial gain for some residents and organisations within Kibera. However, the same representation has led many Kenyans outside Kibera to distance themselves from the negative media image.
A good number of the young Kiberans I interacted with during my PhD fieldwork argued that philanthropy is a white person’s thing and that the few black Africans who donated financial assistance or services always had a political motive. Therefore, their projects were short term and very uncertain.
Donors and visitors to Kibera are very comfortable around the middlemen. They are smooth talkers and well connected to local leaders in the area. However, most of the community members do not trust them. Read More