I’ve posted over seventy articles on this blog page but this one post has remained among the top five most read post. I’m still waiting to know why.
I guess most of the readers have heard the story of the ass **** quest to become the leader of all the parts of the body. If you haven’t, then this is how the story went: One day all the parts that make up the body met to choose who would be the overall leader. Among those who attended and had interest in the job where the eyes, the nose, ears, the mouth and the anus. Each was asked to give the reason why they thought they were best suited for the job.
The eyes were the first to speak and said that, since they are the ones that supply the body with light and see all the good things they should be made king. The ears claimed that they had the biggest responsibility of listening out for the enemy and that the body risked being knocked down by a car if they did not hear the horn. The nose argued that, due to its position in front of the head it was most likely to smell an enemy from miles ahead and also claimed it had the biggest responsibility of supplying the body with oxygen, it should be made king.
But the mouth shot up even before the nose had finished and said that it could do all the functions of the nose including supplying fresh air, the mouth said it has the responsibility of feeding the whole body as well as speaking on behalf of all the members, so it should be made king. The penis had not much to say but only warned the other members that they risked extinction if they did not make him king since it was his responsibility to plant the seeds.
When the ass hole took the podium to speak, all the other parts rolled in laughter, they did not even allow him to make his statement, they all shouted the ass to sit-down and leave it to the important parts to battle it out. The ass hole become so irritated that he stomped out of the meeting and sworn never to work with the other members ever again.
The first day passed well but in the morning of the second day, the body wanted to get raid of the used foods that the mouth had supplied to the body, but the ass had closed business and left. After taking lunch the body could not hold any more and checked on the ass but he had not returned. By the time that supper was prepared the body was in a very bad state, the stomach had swollen causing the legs to lose all the strength, the ears stop due to the illness, the eyes dropped they had not even enough energy to shut . On the evening of the sixth day the body collapsed and died.
The above story is a clear repress of the relationship that we, in the matatu industry have with the rest of Kenyans, and thanks to our media houses for negative reporting when it comes to matters related to the matatu industry. For many years we have been perceived as the enemy within; who everybody is supposed to hate and always be on the look out for although the said enemy is the only means of transport for the ten million beggars J M Kariuki spoke about.
But unlike the asshole in the story, we have remained faithful in our duties. Most of the corporate companies who leap billions of shillings from our industry have used the negative publicity as an excuse to withhold the percentage that should have been channeled back to the consumers and have gone ahead to make their annual financial budget and draw profit margins while neglecting the people who sells their brands everyday. Among the most notorious are the American vehicle manufacture GM, Importers of used vehicles, BP and Shell petroleum companies , the makers of Yana tires formerly known as Firestone; and also Dante Burba, the importers of speed governors among many others smaller companies.
The same attitude can be said to be shared by our honorable government. In a recent TV interview I was doing for a TV station I asked a senior police officer, the reason there seemed to be two traffic laws, one for ordinary motorists and a special one for matatu. He told me that the laws had been made thus to try to tame the operators since the industry is a public service but the passengers belong to the state.This stand was reached at after consultation with the decisions making organ of the government and had the full backing of the state. This just shows how our career is grossly misunderstood and yet we still remain one of the most important drivers of the economy. What now remain to be seen are the effects that we will bring to the whole country when we decide to close business like the ass hole in the story.