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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Slum discourse, media representations and 'maisha mtaani' in Kibera, Kenya
Author:Ekdale, BrianISNI
Periodical:Ecquid novi: African journalism studies (ISSN 1942-0773)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:informal settlements
urban population
mass media
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02560054.2014.886277
Abstract:This article examines discourses surrounding Kibera, a highly populated low-income community in Nairobi, Kenya. Based on 11 months of fieldwork and interviews with 56 Kibera residents, the article discusses the disconnect between the lives experienced by residents and the hyperbolic and essentialized discourse that depicts Kibera as a community defined by sickness, crime and despair. While residents do not deny many of the hardships that are central to the Kibera discourse, they articulate 'maisha mtaani' (life in the neighbourhood) as complex, diverse and contextual. The article shows that several groups that claim to serve the good of Kibera are partially responsible for perpetuating this harmful discourse. In fact, some NGOs, journalists and residents benefit from reproducing a discourse that actively marginalizes Kibera and its inhabitants. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]