12 Free Things in Nairobi

Inspired by Majonzi and the increasing cost of living here’s some free stuff you can get in Nairobi.

some of these may be out-dated, and please feel free to add any others

1. ‘Free’ books: at the Book Villa. Become a member and read as many new, best sellers, finbooks, travel non-fiction books etc.
2. ‘Free’ breakfast: at Books First/ Nakumatt buy one get one free on Sunday morning
3. ‘Free burger’: at Steers buy one get one free every Wednesday
4. Free Internet: Hotposts can be found at Mobil/Oil Libya stations, as well as Tamasha and Alfajiri and some Java restaurants
5. ‘Free pizza’: buy one get one free on Tuesday at Pizza Inn and buy one get one free on Friday at Debonairs
6. ‘Free movie meal’ (hot dog, soda, popcorn) at Nu Metro on Monday with purchase of a movie ticket
7. Free magazines/newspapers: Read the latest issues at many offices, salons/barber shops and banks, but you have to rotate to get variety.
8. ‘Free bank loans’: use your credit card carefully and pay off the full amount at the end of the month
9. Free money transfer: Safaricom’s M-Pesa is great, but if concerned about cost, use the banking network to transfer money free. Just deposit money in the recipients account for them to withdraw at their local branch instantly
10. Free classified advertising: place a classified ad in the Nairobi Star newspaper; send a text message and it runs on the next day
11. ‘Free calls’: Safarciom is offering free night calls, from 9 pm till the end of June. But you have to top up your account daily, and hope that you can get through as the network can get congested
12. Free investment advice: online forums like Stockskenya, Nairobist.

12 thoughts on “12 Free Things in Nairobi

  1. 31337

    i notice that i am a fan of a lot of those “free” things you have indicated.

    tried to think of a few more “free” things and it seems you have covered the ones i know.

  2. Archer

    That’s the essence of being a Nairobian (or a Kenyan at large) we all love free things!! But most of them come at a price, e.g the free calls on Suffer-i-com. Congested network (including internet) among others. It’s terrible!

  3. just what

    your nairobi stock broker will also give you a free cds account statement, does that count?

    banks, the booksfirst-sherlocks den breakfasts are a definite winner.

  4. Maishinski

    “7. Free magazines/newspapers: Read the latest issues at many offices, salons/barber shops and banks, but you have to rotate to get variety.”

    Hahaha GUILTY as charged… Sweet Memories!

    Don’t forget the classic mtaa trick where everyone befriends newspaper vendors so they can take a peek at the “sports page” for free… ultimately the entire paper gets read thoroughly while storroz “flow” to distract the street vendor..

    Of course when we eventually can afford the paper, we choose the ones under the pile coz we jua what cuts with that “second hand gazeti” at the top (probably has missing goodies weekly magazine / cartoons/ lotteries/sports pics/ kbl promotion entry forms etc)…

    More free things:

    1. On a hot day, get some Free Ice cold water and enjoy free Cable and free lounge at Move NIC house. Just walk in, relax at the leather recliners. Grab some water from the cooler and say you’re waiting for someone. Jienjoy pole pole as you watch cable TV until your thirst is fully quenched. Then Bounce.

    2. Free black Diesel smoke – just go to CBD and take a stroll down the matatu streets for a good dosage of dangerous pollutants. If you’re lucky, you might get a nice high before your brain is damaged.

    3. Free legal advise – this one is tricky. Walk to a lawyer and try con him to give you free legal advise. Here’s how it works: Basically pretend you have a big ulti million civil case pending in court (hope you dressed the part)and you wanna get an idea of costs and lawyer requirements. Then, as you are about to leave, ask the real questions as “by the way / afterthought” questions. The lawyer will be so blinded by greed for the possibility of landing a “big deal case” that they will give you plenty of advise to prove how good they are. You then take their card, tell them you’ll call and bounce. Never to be heard of again… (Disclaimer: this is purely for entertainment – try at your own risk)

    Finally – I heard there was a time water was free in 5 star restaurants in Nai.. Old skull peeps could take their chicks out on a date at Intercon, then pretend the wallet is stolen – good enough excuse to take the free glass of 5-star tap water as consolation… but that was before my time.

    Let’s keep “cheap” alive.

    Hey Banks, thanks for the uplifting post to clear the Safcom gloom.


  5. bankelele

    31337: feel free to add more, I’ll update the list again

    Digzer: thanks, I’m going to add a few more medical ones. Like free mosquito nets for mothers of new born babies at government hospitals

    Archer: true ‘many’ of the free ones come at a certain cost; but if you were going to the bar, why not get free internet too, or if you’re buying a pizza, why not a second one too.

    kenya.fm: not one I’m inclined for, but thanks

    sunnykay9: again not one I’m inclined for, but it’s ok, where do you get this, and I thought it would be the other way round?

    just what: that doesn’t count – s shares statement is free from all brokers (at least until they enable people to check online)

    Maishinski: I still do that, if I buy a newspaper, I get to read another one free (the price of doing business with broke Nairobians)
    – Also legal advice can be got for the price of one beer

  6. Mitzy

    In Uganda, newspapers have 2 or 3 staples on them (top right, bottom right and sometimes the middle as well). You can’t read at the vendor’s for free like people do in Kenya.

  7. Wanjiku Unlimited

    Lucky chaps you guys in Nairobi.

    Here (Mombasa) the only thing I can think of right now is free pizza at Nandos on Terrific Tuesday. As in buy one get one of the same size free. And of course there’s those free Safaricom calls if you can cough 100 bob every time you want to access them.

    Here also there’s a curious something called Surwa. You go to a restaurant and you don’t shiba you can ask for Surwa. They’ll give you a small portion in a saucer free of charge. So there’s such terms as sima saucer, mchuzi saucer, mboga saucer and such. But not in all restaurants. And in these lean times the main meals are getting smaller and the Surwa even smaller.

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