Nairobi: Unemployed graduates covertly taking on gigs as bouncers

Nairobi: Unemployed graduates covertly taking on gigs as bouncers

Nairobi: Unemployed graduates covertly taking on gigs as bouncers

Nairobi: Unemployed graduates covertly taking on gigs as bouncers

It’s a covert sort of ’employment’ that is swiftly drawing a distinct pool of applicants to the Kenyan labor market, namely recent graduates.

Others simply refer to them as “bouncers,” while others informally refer to them as “security.”

But this isn’t your typical bouncer job; rather, it’s a struggle to stay alive.

It’s not a job for the weak or the cowardly, and it’s frequently unregulated.

To be able to manage to break up fights and relocate individuals when necessary, one must be physically powerful.

Graduated from one of the local universities in Kenya with a degree in supply chain management, Ruben Akolo.

In the years leading up to the general election in 2022, the 27-year-old worked a few jobs as a “bouncer.”

He now works as a freelance bouncer almost anyplace.

“In order to be qualified for this position, one must be really tough. Akolo, who is all too aware of what it takes to operate as a “security consultant,” adds that you also need to have the correct physique and temperament.

Akolo decided to become a “security consultant” or “bouncer” because he hasn’t had a full-time work since he graduated from college in 2021.

Even while some bouncers are members of associations, this new gang operates anonymously.

When the project is finished, you are paid, and you go on until another client requires your services.

There are no contracts to sign; all that is required of you is to volunteer when needed.

According to Akolo, it’s a close-knit network and people only obtain employment through recommendations.

Akolo asserts that the majority of politicians favor school dropouts who will go to any length to complete a task.

He claims that in order to join the team, he had to falsely claim to have dropped out of school at Standard Seven.

“I recall that a friend of mine first told me about this position. I had already informed him of my dire need for employment, and one day he just called,” claims Akolo.

He instructed me to put on a black suit and a white shirt before meeting him at a specific Nairobi restaurant.

Later, he discovered that the position required him to go with a candidate for a seat in the County Assembly.

“When I got there, there were six other young males there, all dressed in rough suits. They weren’t wearing these outfits to these tasks for the first time, I could tell,” adds Akolo.

“He swiftly went over the assignment’s requirements with us, which essentially involved accompanying this candidate to a contentious political rally.

“We were each paid Sh2,000 for the work we completed that day. After that, I returned home happy. The process was easy, he claims.

“Some people spend up to Sh3,000 per day on activities that require travel outside of town. Otherwise, you receive between Sh1,000 and Sh1,500 if it’s within town,” he claims.

“They also feed you well,” he adds.

The band will soon play a second show, but this time they would fly to a nearby county to Nairobi.

“The atmosphere here was really unfriendly. I recall that we came in our typical uniforms, which had sticks and whips hidden within. When a brawl broke out at the protest, we were forced to intervene to protect our man, the speaker claims, adding that he had a shiver down his spine.

After only three shows, Akolo left. He yet keeps focusing on less challenging jobs like working as a freelance club employee.

Initially, persons who were deemed to be harsh and rough were given the positions as bouncers, but now, he says, there are a few grads doing it.

He claims that the proliferation of gym facilities on campuses and in the neighborhoods surrounding the estates is to blame for this.

He observes that many graduates are being driven to take on these types of professions by desperation and unemployment.

Although some firms favor school dropouts, he thinks that eventually the field will be overrun by graduates.

“I believe that university graduates are better able to perform their jobs because they have strong communication skills and the ability to make wise decisions under pressure.

He explains, “I recall receiving communication skills training at the university, which can be helpful in such jobs.

Even though Kenya’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.9% in the October to December 2022 quarter, down from 5.6% in the equivalent quarter in 2021, many people still struggle with unemployment.

The majority of those living on the streets are college graduates who spent years in school developing skills they hope will help them succeed in the labor market.


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