Rita Awino- 20



My customers usually come from far to get their hair done here because we are cheap and we have quick moving hair.

Since coronavirus our customers haven’t come to us they are fearing we have it and we will infect them.

We are not hoping for a lockdown because I have a small child, 8 months, and I need to feed him that’s why I come to the roadside and make hair.

We are reduced to two customers a week from 5 to 6 a day. Life doesn’t make sense at all and I don’t know what to do with this new situation.



Grace Okeyo- 42

Banana Seller

I get my goods from Meru, in good times, we would be getting three times supply from the farms there, and clear selling them on a day or two.

This week we only have got one supply only and as you can see the Banana are still here with us, we have only sold about 30% of that stock.

Transport has been interrupted, we are being told it’s now more expensive to move the Banana’s from Meru due to the restrictions. Police are stopping the trucks and demanding more money than is normal, so the transporters are passing the cost down to us.




Anna Nyakaria- 77 years

Day care


We are closed following government directives that all schools should be closed.

We used to pick children from their homes, place them in a shelter that we call day care, feed them porridge in the morning, lunch, and give them a sendoff porridge at 4 PM.

We have 95 children every day to take care of their parents are single mothers who work in Estates as cleaners.

The mothers used to lock their children in houses as they go to find work, children would be starving, cry the whole day, get sick, and many would die out of neglect. The mothers were only being practical as Mama Fua you can’t show up to someone’s house with a child on your back, no one will give you work.

This program has been running for two years with 31 mothers getting direct help from us, at the moment they are back to locking children at their houses. They have to fend for themselves, no one can stay in the house even for a day.

We had employed six workers they were all jobless today.




Benson Muli 42



My customers have reduced buying essentials by at least 50% this week alone.

So, families that were buying one milk and bread daily are now only buying it 3 times a week at best.

I am already having discussions with some who want credit, they hadn’t even cleared last month’s debts, so I am worried that I will never get that money back, it is looking like bad debt to me already.

You see this business is about relationship I know my customers very well on what they can and do and what they can’t afford. I am afraid they have to go to work daily to sustain themselves.

In case government people announce a shutdown, they should come up with a plan on how to feed people here daily. You can’t tell people who were struggling before in the invisible market to die in their houses.

We have understood the government message about health safety and we try to provide water and such, however we can’t completely not handle money. How do I get 10 shillings MPESA transaction for salt?

People here understand the risk but let me ask you, don’t you think we deal with diseases here and poverty every day? This is normal to us and maybe, abnormal for you guys (middle class)


The Tazama Way

Covering local news, the way only we (Tazama) can.

We may be standing on the cusp of new forms of journalism.

History proudly records that the invention of the printing press enabled newspapers and novels, similarly the invention of radio and television brought about the TV news and the documentary, there is every reason to believe that, the invention of new mediums in the internet age will enable its own journalism products and inventions to come forth.

At the moment, with misinformation and disinformation being the visible children of the internet age, there’s understandably a growing concern that journalism is losing its face and strength.

Humans though have shown an undeniable ability to adopt and make great use of new inventions even as we lament that the information space has become unsustainable where human attention is scarce and text and video are just commodities. My view, my personal conviction is that journalism must experiment with new ways of storytelling, break the barriers between those we serve and those who journalism has treated harshly or ignored. The challenge ahead won’t be easy or comfortable, but it will be interesting and it will certainly be editorial.

Those who talk about journalism, innovation, and change have equated this to technology; there’s more of bots and artificial intelligence and the likes, as a response to the injection of the internet into journalism, in effect, new journalism careers look like engineers, social media metric managers, software developers et al.

However, we at Tazama think the challenge of news deserts created by too few and in some cases non-existent journalism to serve communities who are in turn disappearing as viewers and readers can be solved by a journalism that is first rooted into community. Reporting to and for the community first, by taking stories offline or off the page and sharing them with our community and open door to journalism to feel the pulse of the community and really connect beyond the clicks and links.

Here, at Tazama we are telling stories about the community in ways only we can. We pride that our community journalist have an unrivaled access to the community, we do believe that journalism should help us understand how complex the issues we are facing are, by not making them sound-bites and trending topics but exploring the complexity and presenting the ideas as they are.

Our journalism seeks to report more on the local power and hold that power to account, the chiefs, our county commissioners, our counties, members of county assemblies and what goes on and in these spaces. Much of what happens in our towns and villages percolates upwards, shaping the broader dialogue.

These dynamics left unreported takes away a key part of our democracy with it because; if we don’t report on our local powers, how will voters know services and policies are being delivered or ignored, if voters don’t know that local politicians are betraying and misusing public funds how will they hold them to account on the ballot?

After all, all politics is local in effect local news should provide the context of our national civic and political discourse.