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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Promise us you will be back Mr Kenyatta.

It  did not shock me, when one Kenyan in particular; was put on trial at the International criminal court, accused of committing crimes against Humanity.  (note that i did not say;a high-profile or senior so and so – because Uhuru, doesn’t consider himself as so. I personally know him as servants of Kenya. A person who has dedicated his life for the welfare of Kenya as a country.)

The reason why the decision by the ICC did not surprise me is because i had suspected right from the beginning that this was just a political card like all the lest and its goal was to  educated as well as brainwash Kenyans into ungovernable citizens. If any leader is responsible for the 2007- 2008 elections violence none is more suited than the former president for handing over power and not warning his predecessor of the tribal differences and how to manage it. But he is still innocent because he had  tried to tell us,Kenyans citizens that; Uhuru was the only person capable of leading Kenya.

I followed the proceedings during the confirmations hearings and It proved to me that this  Gentleman is truly good and probably better than I thought. I would have lived in doubts, wondering what caused the violence and who was responsible but thanks to the ICC I now Know it had nothing to do with the politician. Kenyans should be very ashamed for having fought a foolish war. And then Blaming our Leaders for our own mistakes.

Putting Uhuru on trial for all the crimes the Kikuyu committed is like a big joke. The only reason he is at the international spot light is for history writing. If i was one of the decisions making board of the international criminal court, and a case like the one at hand; come’s up for hearing  at the court, I would most likely put it on trial to show the world that the court is not just about convicting leaders and does not always mean that all the suspects facing charges there are Guilty.

I will continue following the proceedings and praying for it to clear our man on time before the next general elections. We can all do Kenya a great favour by electing him the next president it would even be better still if Ruto was his running mate, throw in Muthaura as his adviser and Kenya is ready to rock and roll.

A word of encouragement to Uhuru- keep up the good work, we appreciate all you have done for us. You stood by us during the Kamatusa eras you were our voice at the committee that formed the coalition government when our economy was going down you did all you could to change the course

. And when we had almost given-up hope of keeping our jobs in the fourteen seater matatus, You gave us hope that we might not be going anywhere anytime soon. We wish you all the best and promise to support you in your straggle. Even if it means voting for you. TUKO NA WEWE.

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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Its life

 

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Up-close with a who-behind the matatu tout.

What is your name and where were you born?

•   ..My name is Geoffrey although most of my workmates call me Nissan. I was born in Kikuyu Division Central province.

•   Is that where you went to school?

•   yes, that is where i went to school. I went to a primary  school in my village called Lusigette then to Karai day high school.

•   What happened after you left school?

•   .. I did a course in electrical engineering, after college I took up a job as a barber in a local salon, but the business closed and a became a loader for a construction truck. I worked for about a year, but the lorry broke down and I returned to the village.

•   How did you end up in the matatu?

•   ..Sometimes later, my uncle bought a matatu and I was employed as a conductor. I started by applying for a PSV licence and then I trained for three days on the job. It was not very hard so, I learned fast.

•   Do you have a family?

•   .. yes I have a wife, and one child. He is four years old and started school last year.

•   What challenges do you face in your job in relation to maintaining a family and your job?

•   .. The major challenge is to work on a part-time job. You are never sure how long you will keep the job. The other challenge is working long hours and no time to spend with the family.

•   What is your philosophy in life?

•   .. A man is born in chains his duty is to win freedom for himself.

•   Matatu workers are known; or have a reputation for partying hard. What is your opinion on that?

•   ..partying is part of the package but it is not everybody who loves partying; even those who do, beat the habit with time. it is something you overcome with age and getting used to.

•   We hear cases of matatu workers being jailed. Have you ever been to prison?

•   .. Prison is mandatory for matatu workers, especially if you don’t have enough savings. The answer is yes, I’ve been to prison several times. I know about five different prisons. All this times;- for a charge called touting. The charge states that; it is illegal to shout when calling for passengers; which in the real sense is the job description of a tout.

•   which is longest time you did in prison and how did you get out?

•   .. The longest time I stayed behind bars, is forty-days and forty-nights. I was picked at Rongai main stage as i was packing passengers in various matatus for a small fee of twenty shillings. I.e, Whenever a matatu driver or tout is jobless for a long period say like two months or so; Most conductors and drivers come to the highway to assist those who are working since we are all professionals.I was jailed for two months or a fine of 4000 k-shs. I did not have the money, so; I completed my sentence, and went back to the same stage. It was the only means of earning some living if you are not formerly employed.

•   What does your family  think about your job?

•   .. They don’t like the job but it’s the only job that pays the bills for now.

•   Have you ever applied for another job while still working in the  matatu industry?

•   .. It has never crossed my mind because I consider myself working. What I do is apply and pray for a job I can hold on for sometimes, Just within the industry.

•   Do you regret coming to the industry?

•   .. No it was a good decision. I earn a living despite the challenges and most important I live independently. I have a home to go to at the end of the day.

•   What is the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to you in relation to you job ?

•   .. The industry has made me who I am. I eat matatu – sleep matatu- and earn my living in the matatu industry. That’s the best thing so far. Well; I haven’t seen the worst day, but forty days in prison is not good either. It still hunts me in the night.

•   What are your plans for 2012?

•   .. I’m planing to apply for a driver’s licence and then learn how to operate heavy machinery. Something big like; cranes or roads construction tractors.. I wish to work for a construction company as a plant operator.

•   Why that big change? You don’t want to drive a matatu?

•   .. Operating a plant machine is almost the same as driving a matatu- bus or trailer but it can create long-term employment.

•   Would you encourage a young man out of school to become a matatu conductor?

•   ..Well; that is very tricky, – I would not advise anyone making his choice of career to pick matatu tout but; the youth have no excuse to live in poverty while the job is available.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Matatu matters

 

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Change the Man To change the Game

The fourteen seater; matatu maybe on its way out and we will soon see more small and big buses on the roads;

Kenyans should not expect too much change,and I would like to tell them to hope for the best but leave a room for the worst just in-case. we should by now have learned from what happened after the change of guard that took place in our political arena sometimes ago- ten years to be precise.

I remember how people had so much confidence in the new Government and were up in arms to fight corruption among other evils the former regime was accused of.Kenyans refused to pay bribe and even went as far as apprehending traffic cops who were demanding bribe from matatu drivers.

It was therefore a rude shock to witness what happened five years later,private companies were contracted and given monopoly to import gadgets that the new by-laws required for all matatus.Workers were then required to deposit advance tax with the Kenya revenue authority to be issued with badges. Anybody found without the card was immediately arrested and taken to court.It was Uhuru Kenyatta who came to our rescue when he took over as the minister for finance.

Today, Everyone is excited about the Nissan matatus paving the way and taking all their bad habits with them. I know most are wishing that we evaporate into the thin air sooner so that we can leave them in peace; but i have news for you. We are only changing the costume,but we are retaining the priest.

I don’t blame the smaller matatus for overlapping, overtaking-{ even when they see an approaching vehicle}- or for driving on the side walks; It is the drivers who do this things. Kenyan motorists should now expect to meet a seventy one seater bus overtaking on a blind corner.What I’m trying to say is that; we need more than just bigger buses. The transport industry  must reform its members if the change is to bear fruits.

The tricky part will be in choosing who will drive the fewer buses and what will happen to the rest of us.

Many people who earn their daily bread in the matatu industry will have to seek for alternative means of getting the bread while those who will get the fewer jobs will continue abstracting other motorists, overtaking, overlapping and most of their tools of trade they take with them to their new offices

I’m not of the opinion that we call for national prayers for our driver to drive safely;I would prefer we re-train them. Changing the size of the vehicle is just like-washing the pig as written on the bible- we all know what will happen when the cleaned pig is set free.

The only measure that will bring sanity on our roads is when we decide to reach out and educate our drivers on traffic rules and regulations. Until then…….!

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Matatu matters

 

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Who is to blame-The man’s wife or the man?

 I wrote this post sometimes ago, but a good friend told me the issues i was writing about were very sensitive and i should give it more thought before i publish it. So i removed it from the blog. I recently sent a printed copy of the article to another friend who said it was good  and i should put it back. please comment on this topic.

–If there is one thing i really dread, it’s to be looked down by a fellow citizen or to look inferior in the eyes of men. There is this guy I know, a radio technician in my town, every time  this guy cross my path i can’t help but feel pity for him. I don’t know if its pity or mercy  i feel for him but all the same, my heart skips a beat. It’s not because of something this guy did, but it all has to do with the woman he married .

It happened sometimes back  that, i walk into a room i was hosting  a friend from shags and there in my bed was  the technician’s wife with my friend. What i show was not the shocking part cos it was not the first time to see people in compromising situation but, later that evening, i  passed by the radio guy’s house to collect a car audio he had been working on and i found the guy and his wife fondling on the sofa sharing a plate of food.

That incident has stack with me ever since. I really hate this woman although i did not tell the guy, i completely lost trust in another human being to such a point that i entertained the thought of never having one called by my name.

It is quite humiliating for any man to even think that another man looks at him and see’s a very foolish man and a weak one for that matter. What is even worse is knowing that the other guy is a welcomed guest in his house. I know a few of my  work mates who had to deal with very severe cases of depression after discovering that their wife’s had cheated on them with fellow Matatu drivers. Some ended the relationships but even those who hanged on probably because of the children still lead miserable life’s due to the insecurity and lack of trust in their marriage.I know a guy who was honestly dedicated to his family but after the discovery, he become a drunkard who sleeps with even the local known prostitutes. He is still married but i fear he could have exposed himself to HIV.

I had a girl friend once who was all i would have wanted i.e she had a good family back ground, she was well-informed on current affairs and religion, but somewhere in the cause of our relationship, i happened to go through her profile; As much as i tried to console myself that i had no reason to be alarmed, She had too many loose screws and i could not imagine sharing her with some other guy. the incident i had seen with the technician’s wife would not let me find peace with my soul. I had planned to marry her by the end of the year but i ended up leaving her. I still feel guilty about the relationship but i guess guilt is less painful than humiliation.

. It is said that; The measure of a man’s true character is what he would do if he was sure nobody would find out. I guess the measure of a good wife’s character is what she would do if she was 100% positive her husband would never find out.

Every man dreams of a wife he would be proud to show the whole world; but i don’t think there is any who is will to share.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Matatu matters

 

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matatu whistle blower

I was reading the comments which many of you sent after the film was shown on Aljazeera and I really appreciated how hundreds of well wishers were  happy for me and wished me success in my new venture. I smiled in the heart as I recalled some of the blessings and uncertainty that the film had brought my way.

My job was the first casualty, The story captured the matatu industry inside story like it has never be done before, not to mention touching on very sensitive issues involving corruption. although majority  supported what I had achived, No employer felt safe to have me in his /her list for fear of victimaization. in-case the parties mentioned, took issues.

It did not come as a surprise since, my wife had warned me countless times during the shooting and after. The timing was the one thing wrong. Christmas was just around the corner and then January; when school fees must  be paid.I decided to spend time with the family as a planned  the next option.

The blog turned to a blessing immediately the matatu industry showed me the back. I received a call from A merica a week before Christmas; it was from a wellwisher who saw the film. She sent me three pairs of shoes. one for Adrian to make up for the one we could not afford during the film and each for his brother and sister. Madam, Mugure; God bless you.

As we were celebrating the wonders of God, and internet, I received another call from Finland. A geography class teacher and his class sent me a Christmas gift of shoes for the whole family. Teacher Larson and your students; God bless you.

It did not stop their, Early in the morning after Christmas, another call  came through from American. A somali- brother instructed  a local forex to make sure we did not lack meat for two days.  Elyas; God bless you.

As I was sitting in the house thanking God for a wonderful year full of blessings, another call came.  I received a brand new laptop computer, complete with modem; from an Angel who was touched by my story and moved in to help. Nick, God bless you.

I have also learned a new lesson. I used to think driving a matatu was hardwork,but the time i have spent at home dealing with children the whole day and waking up the next day to start the routine is something else. I now know why my wife keep asking for the ring.

Lets hope the publisher calls sooner, After that we can start making plans.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Matatu matters

 

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