His company provides equipment for weddings, political rallies, corporate parties and other events throughout the city.

As such, Mutua often operates in the Nairobi’s formal realm, a side of the city that might otherwise be closed off to him.

Instead, she got a job as a housekeeper and moved into a room in Kibera for a month, and the woman paid for her to take classes to study hotel management, which Achieng hoped would lead to steady employment.

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Achieng makes about two-thirds of the clothing and jewelry herself; the rest she has friends bring from abroad or finds while scouring Nairobi’s many second-hand markets. I thought it was going to take me a long, long time, but it happened so fast. You wouldn’t know it from watching her interact with Nairobi’s well-heeled citizens, but Achieng grew up in Kibera, the city’s largest informal settlement.

At 17, she was expected to marry an older man she didn’t know.

For two seasons, she styled all of the contestants on East Africa’s version of . “I used to collect things when I was young and put them together.

When I’d wear them, everyone would say, ‘This is so dope, this is so dope.

“You might have a job today, tomorrow you might be unemployed.” Such is life in the capital city of East Africa’s economic powerhouse.

But the burden of unemployment isn’t spread equally in Nairobi – it rests disproportionately on the shoulders of the youth.

), which provides training and seed funding for young people to start their own businesses.

And this year, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Act was passed, aiming to expand and improve the country’s system of vocational institutions, which impart practical, entrepreneurial skills.

“In Nairobi, you have to know someone who knows someone to get a white-collar job,” she says, “or you have to pay someone to give you a job.” Meanwhile, on her way to church every Sunday, she would walk through Toi Market, the bustling hub of Kibera’s informal economy.