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EXPOSED: Nairobi’s hideaway ‘base’ where youths puff weed without a care in the world

A tarmacked road from the rear gate of Drive Inn Primary leads to ‘base’ a place where many residents go and purchase bhang.

‘Base’ is located on the top floor of an incomplete building located in Mathare area two, the second largest slum in Kenya.

When Nairobi News arrived at the building, our lead, James guides us up the staircase, and once we reach the top floor of the unfinished building we find tens of youth busy smoking weed.

“It is safe to smoke while here than do it elsewhere because police officers never come here,” James a 21, year old says.

James then entered a room that is located on the left of the staircase. He comes out a few minutes later holding a stick of bhang.

Inside the room is a tall man and two young men who are busy making the rolls of bhang.

James is among thousands of youths living in Mathare slum who have turned into bhang smoking in Mathare slums.

He said that many youths including high school going students always visiting the ‘base’ to smoke the illegal substance.

This is confirmed by Jane, our other guide, who said that most University students who reside at Naivas area purchase the substance from the building.


“Whenever we have a party and we invite our friends from campus this is where we buy weed,” said the third year university student.

She said that she was first taken to the place by a guy who she identified as Joe.

According to her, Joe wanted to introduce her to the dealer so that she can be taking the drug to different parts of Nairobi.

“However, someone told me that at times the dealers turn against you and set you up. That is why I pulled back,” she said.

Ms Mary Mokeira, a parent within the slum, told Nairobi News that her son, who used to frequent the building, eventually dropped out of school.

She said that the son has even served a jail term after he was found guilty of theft.

“Police should do something about this, we are not happy and if they will not help us then we have a disaster in waiting,” she said.

To those who reside in the flat, they don’t have an option but to accept the situation or move to other houses.

“When I found a vacant house here and visited for the first time, I was shocked but I had already paid the rent and had to move in and live here,” a tenant, who requested for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Nairobi News.


He said that apart from the smoke that affects him, it turns out that the building is among the safest flats in Mathare.

According to him, unlike in other flats, where tenants complain of theft, people don’t steal from them.

“The youths who visit here are shaggy but they never attack anyone or steal anything. That is why am still living here until the day I will afford a house elsewhere,” he said.

He said that he has never seen a policeman walk into the building since he moved there three years ago.

Despite what goes on in the specific building things are different outside.

A step out of the building and business is as usual with residents going on with daily hustles.

The slum is a hotbed of illegal drugs and alcohol sellers here also operate around the clock.

A police informant, who requested for anonymity, said they receive several complains about the issue but little is done about it.

“We receive numerous complains but our hands are tied. We cannot do anything until we directed to,” said the junior officer.