Meet the Grandmothers Who Rule Kenya’s Legal Drug Markets


At Soko ya Nadhif market in Garissa, Kenya, the ones who come to buy the drugs are men. They arrive early in the morning, sometimes before dawn, waiting in the hot dark air for a good deal. New white Land Cruisers pull into the market, kicking up clouds of red dust behind them. The ones who rush to offload the cargo are men, too. They toss heavy bags of leaves over their shoulders before sorting them into sections: Sareye, Khadija, Fatuma. Each bag is marked with a woman’s name. Because although almost everyone who comes to Soko ya Nadhif market is a man, the ones who sell the drugs are women.

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