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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 'hustle' amongst youth entrepreneurs in Mathare's informal waste economy
Author:Thieme, Tatiana A.
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1055)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:urban youth
waste management
informal sector
urban economy
Abstract:This article examines the alternative economic strategies of youth in the informal waste management sector living and operating within one of Nairobi's largest and oldest informal settlements, Mathare. These youths' expressions of place and work within the informal waste economy are continuously entangled in references to 'hustling' that reflect three spheres of meaning: hustle as a 'last resort' survival mechanism; hustle as a 'livelihood strategy' and risk management; and 'hustle' as the contestations that cross-cut waste management practices amongst youth living in urban poverty. Based on 15 months of ethnographic research, the article explores and articulates the meaning of 'hustling' within Mathare's informal waste economy where other forms of formal institutions and social services are otherwise absent or inaccessible, and where the choices between entrepreneurship, opportunistic group crime and 'idling' are integral to youth's daily struggle. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]