THE URBAN AND ARCHITECTURAL SPACE OF THE SLUMS IN KENYAN LITERATURE
Journal of Architecture and Planning (Transactions of AIJ)
This study aims to analyze and clarify the urban and architectural spatial elements of the slums as depicted in the Kenyan urban literature by a renowned Kenyan writer, Meja Mwangi, where the slum areas in Nairobi play the role of stage. We first extracted all the urban and architectural terms from the texts and divided them into ten major categories for analysis. This we did in order to obtain the general urban and architectural space context of the slums. Next, we extracted the various stages
... the various stages used by the author to expound the plot of a story and grouped them into eight different categories for analysis. This we did by counting the total number of words that we used to denote the length of time the author dwelt on that stage to explain a scene. Lastly we re-extracted the urban and architectural terms as they appeared on the stage categories obtained above. From the observations on stage analysis, we were able to identify the major spatial spheres of the slums and their composition. Our study showed that lifestyle in slums is very simple and temporary. Next, we established that streets, bar and restaurants and the homes are the major spatial spheres in the slums. These are cheap, simple and temporary in form and are composed in coexistence within a rowdy atmosphere. This lifestyle is similar the traditional African lifestyle in the villages prior to colonial rule, showing that lifestyle in the slums could be an extension of the rural lifestyle into the city. Understanding this is will be helpful in making future decisions to solve this problem.