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SU Chess Club at Nairobi West Prison

On Friday 19th July 2013, our Chess Club conducted a Corporate Social Responsibility Program in Nairobi West Prison. A team of 8 players was led by the club Patron Mr. Maloba, in the company of the National Chess Champion Mr. Benjamin Magana and the President of Nairobi Chess Club Mr. Kim Bhari.

Our aim was to promote chess in the Prison and also learn from the prisoners. We arrived there shortly after 3 pm and after being checked by the security guards, we went straight to meet the head officers of the prison, Officers J.M Gachaga and Mr. M Wanjala.

(Mr.Maloba introducing the team)


After the short introduction we were shown around the prison and came to learn that there are so many valuable things that prisoners learn while undergoing rehabilitation. This means that by the time an inmate finishes his or her sentence, he or she should be able to be equipped with good enough skills to lead a decent life after prison. The various skills include; carpenter skills, both crop farming and animal farming, building techniques and even I.T skills. All these are available for the inmates to choose.

(at the workshop)

(the farmland)

The rabbit farming was specifically a shock to most of the visitors :

(Admiring the rabbits ate the firm)

(At the I.T lab)

We even had a look at the library that the prison possesses and classrooms in the prison. It was very impressive that the prison puts in such efforts to rehabilitate the prisoners and make their time in prison count.

(National Champion Magana in the lib)

(one of the classrooms)


After a very wonderful tour, we went direct to what took us there, TEACHING CHESS.
Note: Some of the pictures have been blurred to protect the privacy of the inmates.

(Learning how to move the pieces)

A total of 8 prisoners and 7 wardens showed up to learn the game from the Strathmore University Chess Players and the key guests mentioned. The session took about 2 hours and also included them taking on one another under the guidance of their tutors.

(Paul Maloba heading the session)

(First CHESS GAME!!)

One thing that we could see was that the prisoners were very excited not just to learn chess but that there are people who care about them and are not afraid of interacting with them.

The club and other outside parties are now considering making chess a success among the inmates and also other prisons by visiting more often and taking more training material apart from the 5 chess boards that we donated.

We are requesting anyone interested not to shy away but contact us at ChessClb@strathmore.edu.