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7. The Hilux And The 'Body Thrower': Khat Transporters In Kenya

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Chapter Summary

The Toyota Hilux pick-up is the vehicle usually used along this crucial section of the miraa network and this chapter, after describing the Nyambene to Nairobi run and those who own and operate the vehicles, draws out perceptions of these pick-ups and their dare-devil drivers. One such dare-devil is nicknamed Ntã Mwiri (Body Thrower), as his driving suggests a man prepared to throw his and his passengers' bodies away. This chapter focuses at the development of Hilux image, the factors behind it and the mixed reactions it provokes in Kenya, a country deeply concerned about its high number of road accidents. The chapter explores by arguing that perceptions of miraa and its transporters are interlinked, with both being regarded in wider society with considerable ambivalence.

Keywords: Body Thrower; Hilux; Kenya; miraa network; vehicles



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