by Michela Wrong, New Statesman, UK - I used to live not far from one of Africa's nastiest slums, or "informal settlements", as we are told to call them. A guided tour of Kibera, conducted under the watchful eye of a well-muscled local football player, later became a trendy rite of passage for a certain type of well-meaning foreign visitor. But when I was based in Nairobi, no sane middle-class person - black or white - would dream of venturing there without good reason. No one enjoys seeing bare-bottomed toddlers dabbling in drain water. Walking past the corrugated-iron shacks, packed as tight as battery chickens, felt like a violation of privacy. The looks were not always friendly. And then there was the smell. A melange of human sewage, rotting vegetables, chicken droppings and charcoal smoke, it curled one's nostrils and clung to one's shoes for days. It was so much easier to forget the place. And that was exactly what happened.