June 6th 2015 was bound to be a typical morning in Kibera - but Saturday morning, the inhabitants of Kibera, the biggest slum of Nairobi, saw their daily routine disturbed by the sound of children, tamtam, klaxons and a megaphone when a vibrant and empowered group marched through the streets, cheering and distributing flyers about something called “Lindi-Pesa“.
The march was organized by the Lindi Business Network to raise awareness in the community of Kibera about Lindi-Pesa, the third community currency of Nairobi that will be launched in the coming months. The group already has over 120 small businesses pre-registered and waiting for the launch!
The group that attended the march was composed of members of Lindi Business network that answered the call of the committee members equipped with a megaphone, pupils from member schools, a group of drummers and a dozen boda-boda's (motorcycles). Members of the committees of Kangemi Business Network and Gatina Business organization were also there to represent the already existing currencies (Gatina-Pesa and Kangemi-Pesa).
The march across Kibera was 3 km long and the lasted two hours. The businesses along the way were given flyers about the community currency and the chairman lost his voice speaking through the megaphone! The walkers were very energetic and even the rain didn’t stop the older members of the troop from dancing to the rhythm of the drums.
Once the destination was reached, the chairman of Gatina Business Organisation, Francis Wanjala and Lindi Business Network George Owino gave a speech and the participants were offered drinks bought from one of the member. We warmly thank Citizen Radio for covering the event - And also the participation of Nyendo-lernen. Two German students, part of Nyendo-lernen, attended the event, one of whose hands are part of the design of the Lindi-Pesa itself!
The march was a success and we hope, as the chairman of Gatina Business Organisation told the participants of the march, that the Lindi-Pesa will surpass in users and dynamism all the other currencies launched so far.
About the author - Robin Gerbaux is studying International Development Studies as a graduate student at the Université Joseph Fourier, in Grenoble, France. He has been investigating community currencies while living in Nairobi.
Many thanks to our partners Nyendo-lernen, Lush Cosmetics and DOEN for making this a reality.