Why Imara Daima is the worst estate to stay in

Imara Daima has the most violent mosquitoes in Kenya and Rongai. If they were human beings, and Kenyans for that matter, they will be Gor Mahia fans, just after a fair defeat by AFC Leopards. They are noisy. They are quarrelsome. They are physically strong. They can tear your mosquito net and before you know it, they are having their open market day on your crotch. And who told the mosquitoes that the ear is an erogenous spot? Must they make that fatal dance around it, arousing you from your slumber?

In my bedroom, they have a street bash every Monday and Thursday as from 2 am to 7 am. The drink me with impunity. I know this because the following day when I wake up with dreadful vengeance and reach out to burst them, they splash all blood on me. A ‘hangovad’ mosquito can be carelessly lazy.

Back to the age-old question, ‘why did Noah allow these things into the ark?’ What is the ecological value of mosquitoes? If we eliminated them, are their some environment ramifications that we will have to contend with?
As I’m writing two, I have unsuccessfully swatted two mosquitoes, really quick ones, involved in air combat. Their maneuvers are impressive. I can see two of them wondering, when I will tuck in and they come hunting. The bastards! Another one has comfortably latched itself on the upper side of my injured elbow, coveting, salivating and smelling the wet wound. This is what George Carlin would consider high risk behaviour of insects such flies and mosquitoes. Recklessly suicidal. They have cost me a Plasma TV worth Sh 63,000. I will spare you the details.

Before, I moved to Imara (pronounced as I-`maara), I had asked my lady boss, what is it like to live in Imara Daima. She told me, it is not the best place, given the mosquitoes and the frequent power outages. I should have listened. As I edit this, consider this; power went off at around 8 am. Came back at 1.59 pm. Went off at 2.02pm. Came back at 3.02pm. Disappeared for a few minutes. And came back at 4.53pm. Bado haijaenda? I’m frankly surprised.

See Imara is one of those forgettable neighbourhoods. It is sandwiched between the overpriced South B and the vast concrete slums that that are Embakasi. Below Imara are the infamous Mukuru slums. Between South B and Imara, along Mombasa Road are the corporate behemoths that define Mombasa Road.

It is a fairly decent estate, although quite overpriced given the poor quality of life there. For starters, the several estates that can stake claim to be within Imara and its environs, have no supermarkets of their own. Or a mall that you can hang out on a weekend. The nearest reasonable supermarket, is Nakumatt Embakasi at Cabanas, a few kilometres away. The Tuskies Enterprise Road and around Mombasa Road are for quickie shopping; besides they are plain too far. May be Capital Centre.

Nothing reminds one that Imara Daima is a shitty place than the public means of transport to the estate. There are two alternatively for exclusive access to the estate. All of them are 14-seater matatus. The first category operates from Bus Station. They were given the last spot, closest to the public toilets and the smoking zone, just so you know. They are old. All of them are KA-something. They are dirty, rickety with a radio tuned to four stations at the same time.Te loudest station of the four stations struggling ot be heard like women in an open-air market, will tell you from which community the driver comes from.

The other alternative is at Commercial, where the notorious Embasavvas pick their passengers to Pipeline and Embakasi. For no apparent reason whatsoever, they charge Ksh 100 to Imara. It doesn’t matter the time; in the morning, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, evening, at night, midnight, 3 in the morning, 6 in the morning. I mean it is Ksh 20 to Rongai in extreme off-peak times, a whole time zone away from Nairobi. It is Ksh 10 to Githurai during the off-peak period when you board a  Paradiso. What makes these matatus so special? The ones that use the Bus Station as the picking point also determine the fare on their whims, albeit slightly cheaper, when it is not raining.

The sleaze balls, mostly Kisiis and Kiuks who are the the touts are as greedy as starved spotted hyenas. They are a study of what untamed greedy can do. I have ever heard two of them pray in my mother-tongue that it rains so that they can charge passengers Ksh 100. They must have been Kisiis from Nyamira County.

Every evening, there is a standoff at the stage. The matatu crew always want Ksh 80-100 or 150-200(for those at Commercial) when it rains for the 11-minute ride when there is no traffic. No any other route in Nairobi with touts and drivers who wield so much power. Boy, do I loathe them? They are the reason a car has overtaken a house in my priorities. They are a clear example of what happens when we use our bottoms to think. Even when there are no people at the stage or when everyone has refused to board, they will insist soo soo soo. If only I had a gun?

The other alternative is to use Embasavvas that often pass through Imara or when not passing through, alight along Mombasa Road and walk the rest of the distance to Imara. But the Embasavva crew are just as stupid. No route has the matatu crew so endowed with so much stupidity than the Embakasi bound matatus, or is it just me who encounters their suicidal folly daily?

Back to Imara Daima. If there is one thing that has me raging mad are the frequent power outages in Imara Daima. When I lived in Umoja, I can hardly remember four ‘blackouts’ in a span of three years. But in Imara, since I started counting, we are on the 6557th black out in just over four months. I mean, there is an appalling disregard of the estate that even the business people have had enough.

I’m persuaded by the conspiracy that Kenya Power employees often occasion blackouts to justify overtime payments. And in Imara Daima, they have the friendliest estate, where no one raises complaints. It is either that, or gross incompetence that explain the outages. As soon as the clouds gather or the weatherman says it is going to drizzle, the power automatically goes off. Some say that the outages are occasioned by the slum dwellers with their illegal connections, but my persistent and impassioned pleas have not received any formal communication from Kenya Power.

Just about every day, I’m late to work because I wake up, stepping into the bathroom and as soon as I’m done and I want to press a shirt, it is gone. Or I press a shirt, and as soon as I step into the bathroom, it is gone. Or I’m typing or reading on the laptop and without any warning, darkness engulfs me. It is so predictable that when you have uninterrupted power for more than 12 hours you feel like calling Kenya Power and ask them, whether there is something wrong.

I recently saw this joke twitter: “Yes IT expert, I’d really love to unplug my laptop for a healthy battery, you see, the way the power in this country is set up…”

I no longer make any plans with electricity in mind. I make sure that my laptop is permanently plugged in, screw the battery life. And it seems, I have to start pressing all my weekly clothes at once.

Another bad thing with Imara is that if you opt to walk up to Mombasa Road in order to board a matatu, you have the task of crossing the highway. It is a demanding task. You wonder why off all the qualifications during the tendering process to construct roads, why do they ignore common sense? I mean it is common sense that the roads must be crossed at specific points along Mombasa Road. At BelleVue, Airtell Centre, Standard Group, GM, Imara Daima. There are designated bus stages in these spots but for you to cross from one side of the road to another, you are at the mercy of the speeding motorists.

Now, the education and the economic system, always favour motorists. The reason we have bigger roads and smaller sidewalks, sometimes non-existent. That means daily, I can waste up to 30 minutes daily while crossing the road to and from work, given the speeding motorists have never stopped for the pedestrians to cross, even if they were a thousand of them.

See why I hate this estate so much!

The estate is like that very average chick who for no apparent reason absolutely sleeps with everyone at school, college, work place, neighbourhood. Anywhere. OK, may be to boost her self-esteem. And given she is quiet, nobody has ever called her a hoe. Ameficha game, albeit it is common knowledge. Kenya Power screws Imara. Public transport shags Imara. Housing is a tad exaggerated, essentially, Imara residents get laid by landlords every month. Shop and grocery owners equally overestimate the potential of residents and have overpriced stuff, sexing residents pretty much badly. We are the hoes of mosquitoes. We even serve in their bars. I will move out of this sh*thole.

Rongai sounds ideal. The border police are friendly lately. And no visa fee after the East Africa thingy was ratified. It will be cheaper, I just have to wake up at 3 a.m in order to get to work in time as the two Pauls I know who stay there survive.


50 thoughts on “Why Imara Daima is the worst estate to stay in

  1. I agree with you on the mosquitos but everythng else is exaggerated… Imara daima is one of the safest and cleanest eastates in Nairobi. (Unless you live in the flats that suround Imara daima, fyi that is not imara daima…) The rent is slightly high coz of the security n GREEN environment. The matatus at Bus station are ok, if u want loud music jus buy a home theatre dnt expect the public service vehicles to entertain u, ur barely in them for 30mins…. We do not have any power problems, wewe lipa bills my friend. I conclude that you wrote ths after being feasted upon by a mosquito that had sharpend its teeth so ths is jus an overreaction. Imara Daima ROCKS…

    1. Like Really? Everything that is said up there is so true. I have lived in Imara Daima for close to 6 years now, and i totally concur with everything he says up there. Why does Kenya power find the need to do maintenance every 2 sundays? and every time it rains, stima ndio hiyo! The Matatus that ply that route, save for the Embassavas are like the rejects of the city! they break down just about anywhere, anytime.

  2. i was raised in Imara daima,from primary school through to university,there’s no safer place in Nairobi like imara daima, for the years we have spent there, not even a single incident of theft has ever been reported, just to mention, during December holidays of 2006, we( as a family) travelled home up country about 500km from Nairobi for a period of one month and forgot to put the doors and gates under lock and key,upon returning to the city in January 2007,we found all household items intact,KINDLY TELL ME, IN WHICH PART OF NAIROBI CAN ONE ENJOY SUCH SAFETY AND SERENITY,YOU NEED TO BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND TELL THE PUBLIC WHICH IMARA DAIMA YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT ??? Those flats out there are not part of Imara Daima.

  3. hehehe i like how you clearly and at a personal touch. Am not a residence so *no beef* but i like the article

  4. hehehe i like how you clearly and at a personal touch describe the situation. Am not a residence so *no beef* but i like the article.

  5. Hahaha. So on point!Down to the mosquitoes. Not to mention the traffic and the non existant roads.

    I tried living in Imara for a full year! I eventually figured my over priced South B was worth it all. Back home now

  6. If you hate it so much why are you still living there???????? I think Imara Daima is a great place to live..love us or leave us!

  7. Hahaha. Not forgetting the now frequent police extortion raids done in the estate.The estate association – IDEA spies on its own residents and calls the cops. Pathetic

  8. Born and Raised in Imara….you cant compare Imara to Buru, Umoja, south b n the rest….everyone minds their business there boss….your article is shit. Nunua mosquito net na ile device ya mortein doom, nunua generator ya stima(power outage is nairobiwide u guy) looks like you dont pay your power bills ama u were used to living in a slum.

  9. funny post but you are such a pessimist. when you move to the diaspora (rongai) you will still find a reason to complain

  10. Bulllcrap. i agree with the matatu crap but if you couldn’t afford the rent…why did you even live there….if you also cannot afford electricity…move to kibera. You are clearly as bitter as shit. imara is the safest place. . .it looks good. N please set your priorities straight. buy a net instead of living in a neighborhood ur peasantry cannot afford.

  11. You are so right about the ridiculous bus fare, the constant power outages and the one detail you forgot about the small houses in general but just like most of the people on the comments section, you are forgetting that a big percentage of us (residents/tenants/me) are/im there due to good security…TRUST ME…IMARA IS A SAFE HOOD. I have been around different estates in NAIROBI…and eventually i came back home to (Imara Daima). I’m sorry the estate is not accustomed to your liking…don’t worry in due time you will find the right estate for you. GOOD LUCK!

  12. The above article is true,even though am not staying at that place i have extended my academic hand to do a research for my undergraduate degree and i will be handling “the effect of infill housing densification to the physical infrastructure: A case study of Imara Daima Estate, Nairobi.” Kindly if you have any relevant information like the above ..email petnab09@gmail.com or PETNABO9@students.uonbi.ac.ke

  13. Just when I was about to go house hunting in Imara coz I was running away from mosquitoes in Tassia…….I aint goin nowhere

  14. Imara is generally a good place to stay…Your only looking at places to hang around….ati malls! there is a train station very convinient…trip to town is max 40 minutes. There is Riara Primary school, if you can afford it! There are very nice estates just past Imara Daima Estate RE: Sunrise Park, Imara Gardents etc. Ofcourse rent here is always more expensive than at Imara because of the houses proximity to the school and to the Railway station. All wannabees stay at Mu-Imara and we all know that all the old geezers stay in the real Imara Daima Estate. The only truth about Imara on ur article is the mosquito part, heck I hate that too but apart from that Imara is a cool place to stay. FYI south B mats are picked at the BS, South C mats are worse to get, traffic on Langata road, Ngong road is the worst compared to M-Road. This article has no bearing! Only a cheap man could have written this…..an Ob/ wannabee. Ishi Umoja!

  15. I don’t know about the mosquitoes, but every time I have to go to Imara to see someone, I have to ask afresh where to board the matatus. It seems they haven’t figured out where to aet up a permanent stage.

  16. its 2016 May. – i just moved to Imara gardens.. in less than a month the power outages I’ve experienced my goodness!!! and the way id stocked up my fridge! the mosquitoes waaa……. you should see my sons hand.. i had to re invest in a mosquito net. i bet nothing much has changed since your article. the house is beautiful though, n nice place to raise my baby considering proximity to Riara… but other than that.. meh :/

    1. You can move to Benedicta – Utawala area. It’d be better there if you wanna be happy about power supply.

  17. I was looking to buy a house there but after reading the article not really sure, but apart from that this article almost made me crack my ribs tooo funny, it made my day. Good one!!

  18. Imara Daima issues have been addressed by residents who have come together under IDEA, the resident Association. Kenya Power have built a new power station and put up new lines.Theyre now delivering power to Kijiji to avoid illegal connections. The community has formed a team christened “mosquito eradication” Another team is on road safety
    We have also formed a security team that is working closely with authorities to enhance security. The county Government is about to complete the railway road, Kenya Railways have increased the train capacity three fold. Matatu menace is a real problem, this I confess it’s not been easy to address. KENHA placed a bridge at Msa road in the “desert” meant for who? it beats common sense, however IDEA is pursuing the return of the bridge to serve the residents, this has forced NTSA to plant a car and six personel to control humans! Rent in Imara is a bit high but it is packaged behind an elaborate security system, where the residents are nyumba kumi alert. For more details go to IDEA Facebook page or talk to me the current Estate Chair..Joe

  19. Wooiiii, preach on on the highest mountain,I have lived in Imara for 6 years now. And this is true, the mosquitoes, the POWER OUTAGES, BLACKOUTS, TRANSFORMER I don’t what happened to it, lack of water if you live near kwa njenga, no shopping mall, Nakumatt isn’t easily accessible. MATATUS even when you board at Kobil-near Neno Evangelical church its 50/70 when cabanas/mlolongo/utawala pay 30.

  20. Everything stated here is true asf! I have lived in imara since college and there is always power cuts for no apparent reason. Sometimes the kenya power don’t announce any outage! But power just goes off! And the matatus men! So dirty and old with smelly touts! Mosquitoes 😢😢😢!
    But everything said and done, I’d rather stay with all the rest but power ikuwe constant!

  21. Wow! It’s amazing how true most of what you’ve written is (or should I say was) true. The power outage thing has improved a bit now but it was a nightmare when I moved to Imara Daima about 5 years ago. Nowadays, people can’t cross Mombasa road unless they walk to GM or Cabanas where there are foot bridges – a big inconvenience for commuters albeit safer . Can’t say much about Matatu Guys since I don’t use public transportation a lot, but they still like to hike fare during rush hours. All in all, the neighborhood has been getting better, but Imara Daima is no where near to where I formerly resided, South B.

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