Nairobi, especially downtown CBD, has lately become one of the unsafest places of the republic. If you’re lucky not to have been victim, I bet you know someone who has been attacked – it is that serious.
While security organs are tasked with protecting citizens, it is apparent that they are not doing the job as perfectly as everyone would wish.
This necessitates that everyone takes some proactive steps to minimize chances of being attacked.
Here are some you can adopt.
It is always advisable to be aware of your surroundings as you move about in the CBD, especially the downtown areas.
Sometimes muggers do a poor job of operating in stealth mode. Watch out for people who show a keen interest in you, or what you are carrying.
Don’t use headphones or earphones in public
Connected to the point above, listening to music in public can distract you from the immediate environment.
Other than muggers, being distracted in public is risky. Danger may be coming your way and you can’t hear warning shouts from other passers-by.
Close car or Matatu windows
Snatching valuables through windows is one of the preferred MOs for Nairobi criminals. Roll up windows once in your car or public transport.
If you must keep windows open for air or something, be sure to keep phones and other valuables out of sight.
Walk in Well Lit Streets
Muggers and other criminals prefer to conduct their business in dark areas to reduce the risk of identification and disappear quickly.
Avoid walking in dark alleys and stick to well-lit streets. Avoid the temptation to use dark and less safe shortcuts; for shortcuts are often wrong cuts.
Ask for Directions in Advance and Act Natural
Be sure to get clear directions when about to venture into an unfamiliar part of town. Muggers will not hesitate to take advantage of a lost person.
As you get around be sure to act natural; avoid staring at buildings and other landmarks for a second too long.
While in the CBD walk fast to throw off anyone who may be following you.
Muggers will try as much as possible to conceal their motives and keeping up with a fast-walking target is a sell-out they’d rather not risk.
Walk in Groups
Where possible, walk in a group of two or more people. Muggers prefer single targets because it is much easier to subdue an individual.
Keep Your Smartphone and other valuables out of Sight
You may be the proud owner of a new iPhone X and can’t seem to have enough of it, even in public.
Well, some of those strangers will want to snatch the device and possible hawk it at a quarter of its price.
Keep your phone (and other valuables like expensive jewellery) out of sight, especially when in known hotspots.
Trust your Guts
Most oft than not, your gut will be right. If you feel something is not right it probably isn’t. Get out of the vicinity as soon as you can.
Get into a Matatu, dodge into a supermarket or do whatever you can to shake off a mugger. Better safe than sorry.