Toi-ling For Trinkets In Kibera

Friday, February 5, 2010

Could you imagine buying a Chanel sweater for ¨less than the cost of a movie ticket¨? Or, maybe Crocs of electric purple (not that I would suggest it)? Well, if you happen to be in Nairobi, Kenya, than the Toi market has something for you.

The Toi market is located in Kibera, the city´s notorious slum. It ranks as the largest second-hand market in Eastern Africa with, as The Toronto Star describes, everything. Even since the 2008 riots, business has been booming. With help from Jamii Bora Trust, a micro-lending organization in Kibera, the market was rebuilt, the stalls have been upgraded from blue tarps to corrugated metal and, as a result, the Toi has doubled to more than 3,200 vendors selling clothes, jerseys, food, shoes; like the article said: everything.

The people are using the Toi market as a ¨poster child¨ in the efficacy of micro-lending programs. To me, from what the people were quoted as saying, business could not be better which makes the people, now twice as many people, really happy. Something´s right about that.

By Brit Weaver


About the Author

Toronto born and based, Brit is an avid leisure cyclist, coffee drinker and under-a-tree park-ist. She often finds herself meandering foreign cities looking for street eats to nibble, trees to climb, a patch of grass to sit on, or a small bookstore to sift through. You can find her musing life on her personal blog,

© 2020