Nairobi - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

As is true everywhere, there are gender inequities. I don't think that expat women necessarily encounter more sexism or harassment in NBO than in other places. I did not find street harassment - at least of expats - to be a big issue. - Apr 2021

There is a lot of tribal prejudice between the 40-something tribes in Kenya. It can get really intense, as it did during the election cycle last year, but day-to-day, things seem to be pretty stable most of the time, though as a mzungu, I'm not the best person to weigh in on generations of Kenyan tribal conflicts. - Dec 2018

I feel there appear to be major issues with tribalism. I would imagine these issues might be more apparent when one tries to get a job locally. It seems to me that these issues were revealed in this last election, and do not seem to have disappeared. - Jun 2018

Very patriarchal, with huge differences in pay for men vs. women. Spousal abuse is common among local people, and religious and tribal prejudices are common. Racism is an issue, in that local people will treat white people (mzungu) as a better class of people than themselves. White people are given deference. - Jul 2016

Yes. - Sep 2015

I haven't experienced anything personally, Kenya is predominately Christian, but I haven't observed any open hostility towards other religions. - Aug 2015

Most common are tribal prejudices. They stick together no matter what in hiring, helping out, etc. Misogeny abounds but as one commenter says, it's mostly Kenyan to Kenyan and they leave muzungas (a slang term for white people) alone, particularly if not from Africa. - Jul 2015

Gender, but usually on Kenyans. It doesn't flow over to affect expats. - May 2015

Not aware. - Dec 2014

I don't think so. Maybe some tribal prejudices though. - Jun 2014

There are a lot of tribal prejudices between the Kenyan people, but not towards foreigners. Kenyans seem to love Mzungus (foreigners). The people seem to be very accepting of all religions although they are primarily Christian and Muslim. - Jun 2014

Tribal prejudice is still a problem here. - Mar 2014

Yes but it is tribal. Take a look back at the post election violence in 2007 for reference. I won't dare to attempt to summarize it in this small box. - Jul 2013

Yes. Tribal violence is an issue, more so than religious. - Jun 2013

Absolutely. Non-African expats get charged a huge foreigner's tax trying to buy things on the informal local market and it takes a lot of negotiation to get things down to a reasonable (still crazy compared to the real value) price. Kenyans think we're all made of money, I guess. Gender less so, but still you can tell it's not really equal between the sexes. - Dec 2012

Within Kenyan society, yes, but less so in Nairobi. There has been progress since the election violence in 2008, but it's not completely resolved. This doesn't have a major impact on us, but the gardener won't listen to my wife. - Aug 2012

Yes, tribal issues mainly. - Dec 2011

Not really, unless Kenya blows up again like 2008. If that happens, the next time could be really bad. - Sep 2011

Yes, somewhat. Black Americans are sometimes treated poorly by white or Indian Kenyans. They assume that they are African, and expose how they treat their countrymen. But racial issues are not nearly as bad here as in so many other countries. Tribalism is rampant, though: ethinc tensions. - Dec 2010

There's more tribal prejudice than anything else. I'm white and might as well have a big neon sign on my head, but still get treated fine. - Jul 2009

This country is one of the most racist I've ever seen. During the post election violence women and children were murdered, set on fire etc. just because there were from a different tribe. Despite what the government says, it's all about tribes. Indian/Pakistani/Asians have a hard time here. - Jun 2008

Not that we have experienced: interracial couples are common and accepted, something we've been pleased to see. - Feb 2008

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