Somali TV exposes Nairobi’s women beggars with ‘fake veils’

The residents of Kenya’s capital Nairobi are being duped by ‘fake beggars’ posing as destitute Muslim women to boost their takings, a Somali TV station has revealed in a new documentary.

RTN TV said its investigations focused on the residential and business district of Eastleigh where it said it found “most of the beggars” were faking their faith to gain sympathy from residents and traders.

The documentary, dubbed “The Veiled Eggar”, showed one woman confessing to faking her faith “because well-to-do Muslims are people who will never allow their co-religionists to go hungry while they were able to help”.

The woman,who lives in Kayole estate, described begging as her full time job to feed her family after her husband neglected them.

Some beggars even fake injuries intended to tug on the heartstrings of unsuspecting residents.

One woman described how she learnt Somali phrases like “adeer” (uncle) and “kaalmo” (help) to endear herself to Somalis who are the dominant group in Eastleigh.

She said Somalis are generous and are always delighted in helping others.

Some beggars use children to beg on their behalf.

Fake beggars in Nairobi are known to focus on people who look rich and generous.

They range from people pretending to be sick, desperate ‘mothers with kids’ outside a supermarket, to those pretending to be from up country looking for bus to go back home.

Watch the documentary here on RTN TV’s Facebook page.