Jul 27, 2009


Walk down the streets of Nairobi or any major town to any bus terminus. Think of any good looking young man, smartly dressed in the latest fashion and you will see him there. Meet him in a fourteen sitter on his spinning seat, his staring eyes will literally steer you clear from him. A welcoming wink of an eye for a lady and perhaps some compliment is his secret of making the fourteen fully occupied. With loud music under his seat, the guy is confident of pocketing hefty pecks at the end of the day. Watch him; his chewing of miraa (curt) will remind you of a stray goat in your village.

A matatu driver, an adversary to traffic police will always have money in his driving license just in case, a survival tactic. He and his hydrophobic assistant called the makamba are the big headed managers of our traffic. Reckless overtaking, overspeeding, overshouting and thunderous music are very characteristic to them. Try get on their way crossing the Zebra lines and you will be bedeviled. They shout fifty fifty but wait until you face the makanga.The lunatic will treat you like a fool of the 20th century, that you heard it all wrong. You will be surprised, reduced to paying twenty more in very embarrassing circumstances.

Lucky is you, a young submissive cute lady, you won’t pay a penny if a falsified affluent matatu driver sets eye on you. Our college ladies are the most vulnerable. I wonder how matatu drivers manage to ignite them. A matatu driver will somehow rather have some-one for the road. Go to entertainment lobbies, you will find him there entertaining the young and innocent with all types of alcoholic drinks. These tender ones will rather play truant on Friday evening than throw an opportunity of squandering money with a pretentious matatu driver. Then they will come back so smitten, so hell-bent and swollen like bedbugs looking forward for the next day. And snobbish they exhibit, but dare you complain and experience how they throw back to your face.

His language is fascinating, the so called shen’g and some neither here nor their broken English intrigues. Our local musicians really admire him; I see them on T.V everyday mimicking a matatu driver. The flamboyance has gone down to our college boys and girls and even percolated to secondary schools. The dress code, language and behavior are enough to narrate the whole story.

Matatus having artistic images and some blinding DVD screens with effing hoofers are exorbitantly expensive to board. A matatu driver makes a lot of money out of this extraordinary entrepreneurship, doesn’t he? Wait until it rains, you will pay him everything and go hungry for several days!

With or without a matatu driver, this roughshod needs not to be embraced. This extremely obnoxious proliferating infamy deserves being hurtled limbo or else aggravate. And who said that a matatu driver is precisely a fellow who drives matatus? 

By Duke Mwancha.