03 Aug 2023

On Duty with Nala; the Sentinel Protecting Air Travel from Narcotics

Nala doesn't want to be rude. So, she (begrudgingly) poses for this photo in the KQ 100, Nairobi to London. 

Kenya Airways Blog 1

Nala isn’t going to London. She’s working. Her job is to make sure you don’t carry any form of narcotics in the plane, not in your luggage and not on your person. She has been in this grind for a hot minute so she has a nose for it. Nothing gets past Nala. Doesn’t matter if you’ve done yoga for years and worked on your breathing, she will look at you and think, that chic with small darting eyes is nervous and she has drugs in the lining cups of her bra. You could say Nala’s got a dogged determination.


She works either of two shifts; the 6pm to 9am or 5am to 2pm during which she works on four flights. She prefers the 5am to 2pm shift because she’s a morning person. And because her concentration is not as long as, say a crocodile, she can only do 30mins before she goes out to the grassy patch on the runways to pee and play with a ball. (We have this in common).


She didn’t know anyone in order to secure this job with KQ’s K-9 division. When she was just a puppy, Rufus had said (Rufus was her mom’s colleague) chaps at Kenya Airways are recruiting for a sniffing job, why don’t you go? So she touched up her hair and worked on her puppy look. They picked her and trained her before starting a career busting drug dealers and other narcotic lowlives.


KQ’s K9 has been her only job, six years now. Loves it. Her girlfriend Lola, though, was like “it won’t look good on your CV to stick in one job for that long!”


Nala was like, “Bitch, please!”


Kenya Airways’ K-9’s a great gig, they treat you well. Great medical. Food’s great. Her only meal is at 1300 hrs, nothing too heavy, pellets. You can’t be overweight in this job even though she’s 31kgs when she should be 27kgs. “I can feel the weight on my thighs," she sniffed. But she is allowed the extra kilos because she’s made her bones here, besides she’s 8 years old which is, like, 54 years in human age?


Nala’s (who’s valued at Sh1.5 million) is retiring very soon. She can’t wait. She will be adopted in a friendly home where she will spend time napping, watching TV, taking long walks in the evening and removing her nail polish before bedtime.

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