Back-to-School on a Budget in Nairobi

Article by Maureen Kasuku
Posted: July 26, 2021  

Schools are reopening  this week and we all know our favorite national pastime is doing everything at the last minute, including getting our kids ready for the new school term. Parents are in a maddening rush trying to get erasers and pink backpacks. It’s not a pretty sight and it’s not cheap either. School supplies cost a fortune! Our guide for desperate parents will help you get what you need even if you’re on a tight budget.


This is arguably the biggest second hand market in East Africa! Situated along Landhies Road, “Gikosh” hosts thousands of sellers selling everything under the sun! You can get good quality second hand backpacks, scarves, sneakers and stationary sets for your kids. If you’re an early riser, take a trip on Saturday morning and for less than 2000 bob you can get an incredible haul. Start HERE.

Toi Market

Toi Market is situated off Ngong Road just behind Adams Arcade.  Be a daredevil and venture further into the market towards Toi Primary school in Kibera. That’s where the real gems are!  Start HERE


Situated between Juja and Jogoo road right after Pumwani, Eastleigh, dubbed “little Mogadishu” for its large Somali population, has a huge market dubbed ‘Garissa Lodge’. Almost everything is new here and sold at incredible wholesale prices. You can get a set of kids panties and socks for less than Ksh 1000. Also, you can find hair accessories for kids, stationery and swimming costumes for really low prices. Start HERE


Get second hand books at Mutindwa Market on Kamkunji road. Dubbed the ‘Inama bookshop’ you can get encyclopedias, dictionaries, novels and a range of text books for as low as Ksh 100. Start HERE

Bus Station CBD

You would not believe the kind of great stuff you can get on offer here. Situated between O.T.C and Afya centre, you can get slightly used leather shoes for kids and track suits for incredibly low prices. Start HERE


Second-hand textbooks can be found all over the city and you can even exchange your kids’ books for others. Here’s where to get them

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life


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