Today we talk thrift!! 😍
My ultimate haven! Now if you have not tasted the goodness of thrifting then you have not been living, no you have not….
Thrifting in Kenya is an exploited field that was originally began in Nairobi after colonization by low income receiving kenyans.. A man has got to eat!
Today, it is dependent upon by millions of people as a source of income and as a cheaper means to get dressed on a level above mediocre… Second hand clothes hold a value of admirable quality and quantity …when I say quantity, I mean a dollar could fill a paper bag full with clothes.
My Gikomba Routine •
5:00 am and it’s a morning with showers 😣
I have got to beat the 2 hr traffic before I get to Gikomba…
The anticipation of a mystic discovery awaiting throws me off my bed!!
This day is gonna be lit!!
With the rains means Gikomba is a pool of mud that may dry up after a week or so..
It might have still been muddy even if it hadn’t rained on this particular morning..
6:30 am ••
Don’t we love fast drivers..
I alight at kariokoo wearing my dad’s gumboots, an oversize tee and old jeans wrapped by a raincoat..
I looked like a marshmellow coated in marshmellow
Not forgetting a big comfy bag with two yellow papers inside (zile za 10 bob)…essential for a shopping spree
Light of day greets us as we all walk towards Gikomba market..
For the enterprenuer, it is the same hustle different day
7 am ••
…I have got exactly 3 hrs to get the good stuff and leave..
Heard of the term ‘camera ‘ ?
These are the interesting high quality stuff that people scramble for at dawn ….
I’d call it the top layer mutumba…
I am reminded not to go for everything at a go or one might end up not getting anywhere at all..
This is because Gikomba is divided into sections.. Eg skirt and dress section, sweater section, bed sheet section etc..
Advice:tackle each section a day at a time..
I begin to walk towards an area in Gikomba famously known as ‘kwa cucu’in pursuit of denim..
In these hours,i am assured of getting clothes for 20 shillings…
Camera clothes might be quite expensive even if it’s early morning though… especially bags and skirts
The face of the mutumba lady as she splits open her first bail is priceless…not even she ,knows what it holds!
I quickly touch my tight right pocket to check on my valuables..the vultures are still out here lurking!😈
..20 bob! 20bob !mbao !mbao !mbao!!,she sings away..
(sajili ya sokoni)
…as i dig into the pile of clothes, lust is in constant battle with the pocket..
They are beautiful.. 😍
In my head i think….if i was rich i’d buy you all.
Advice:Always work with a budget and carry loose money…
As i conclude my hunt, I evauluate my selection to check on ripped seams, permanent stains and defaults….they are perfect!
The mutumba lady grants me a discount and I smile as i sink into the mud in pursuit for more cheese..
People wrap their new belongings and leave to explore other bails too..
Advice:Always carry a comfortable bag to pack your mutumba..
Thrifting has continuously taught me patience as it is not everyday that you find treasure in 2 minutes or 5 minutes.. It may take 15 ..17..35 ..who knows..
Then there are those bad days when the bail is split and only half of it can be sold.. They call it ‘burnt ‘
(Bail imechomeka )…and the price will have to hike to cover the gap
Always have all eyes open while others are paying, sometimes they don’t mean the price they state…
Conny people.. 😐
Sweat dripping, the crowd increased as the second went by…
My bag became heavier….
Glad this is over..
I move past the crowd to meet the gents that will charge me 10 shillings to wipe my now black with mud oversized boots..
As this goes on,, I watch a group of youngins steer their charcoal iron boxes as they hum to ‘sura yako ‘by sautisol..
For a hustler, the shopping spree is followed by ironing and straight to selling…their day has just began!
Ironing costs like 5 bob per cloth ..
10 am ••
As I walk back to Kariokoo, I am already trying out the clothes in my head..
I am smiling… the man busy repairing a car stops to assume it was for him.. He responds quite hysterically and checks me out till I’m out of sight.. .
I check myself out too…I look like a homeless person..😂
…had to dress like this to diffuse into the noisy crowd aaaand to avoid getting conned..
…yass! Don’t go there looking boujee!
I board a route 44 bus and back home…
I need a shower..
What a morning..
Gikomba It’s been real, let’s do this again!!!