Nairobi News


At Odeon Cinema, it’s business as usual one month after grenade explosion

February 24th, 2019 2 min read

It’s a Tuesday night. Outside Smothers Fast Food Restaurant next to Odeon Cinema along Tom Mboya Street a small crowd is standing on one side while hawkers are selling their items on the other.

On the same stretch, trolley pushers are also calling out loudly to customers who are carrying huge luggages.

Then suddenly, as if on cue, the hawkers hurriedly gather their wares on the sacks they are laid on and scurry for safety.

Apparently, the city county askaris have swooped in on the oblivious hawkers.

Everyone else follows suit and scampers for safety before realising that it is the usual cat and mouse game between the hawkers and the ruthless askaris.

This is the very spot where just a month ago a grenade exploded, injuring two people.


On that night, a member of the public hired a trolley pusher and asked him to transport his luggage to Nairobi Cinema.

A few minutes later the man vanished and the luggage had exploded, injuring the trolley pusher and another person.

Events of the night have since faded out of the collective memory of traders and hawkers who do business in this part of town.

Normalcy has returned and it’s now business as usual with little indication that this was a crime scene on that early Saturday night.

Mr John Kamau a hawker who was on his usual spot when the incident took place said that they have no option but go on with business.

“If you were to die on a specific day, it will just happen. I have no option but to go on with my business,” he said.


Some women hawkers can actually be seen accompanied by their children, some of whom are as young as three.

Jane Kerubo said that the thoughts of the incident are still fresh in mind but she still has to earn a living.

“At times thoughts (of the incident) hit me so hard that I close business. It is tramautising, but then what else can I do?” she posed.

Some of the trolley pushers who spoke to Nairobi News said that they had no option but to go with the business.

“What happened here was just bad luck, it has never happened before and it will not stop me from working,” said Gabriel Githinji, a trolley pusher.

The police last week released images retrieved from CCTV footage of the suspect who is believed to have hired the man to help him transport the devices and asked members of the public to identify him.