Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Matatu Driver.

{For a special friend}

if you are seeking self knowledge and self mastery, you must deal with things as they really are not as you might want them to be, you must comfort and embrace your shadows,you must even befriend them and love them, you must see who and what they really are within you, you must fulfill their needs just as you fulfill the needs of others, you must assuage their fears and anxieties,reassure and comfort them, in so doing you will be ministering to yourself for they are you,the total you.
Does this include those of us who work in the matatu industry?

.I have been on this job for the past ten years, i am one of those you just love to hate, i work in the industry that is currently the backbone of raising illegal tax money for illegal organized groups.
I as the matatu driver, has been useful and used but so badly abused but still i am pushing through, because i just know that this tusk has to be carried out,Perhaps you don’t have any idea what its like to be the black sheep of the country like we the matatu crews have been made to look and feel.
Let me explain, we[matatu drivers] take our jobs seriously,we know the risks and the benefits of this job, we wake up before three every morning to bring milk to Nairobi,from there we take officers [cops] who have been on night duties home, from there we bring newspaper vendors to work then kiosk operators and company drivers, from there we come for your kids and their teachers and drop them to school, by the time you get to the office, your secretary is behind her desk, and the tea girl is doing her nine o’clock round, you can also hear sounds of men at work coming from the warehouse. After we are done with you, we go back to your house,we take your housewife/houseboy to their secret lovers.
by ten o’clock, the patients have started filling bus stops needing to be taken to hospitals, then comes Sunday and the entire Christian community depends on us, i don’t know the reason why those who live in the west go to churches in the East and those in the East to the west but all the same most of them are not yet blessed with personal cars so we help them go to meet their maker,the pastors ought to pray for us seeing we are partakers in their missionary work but its them who call a curse on us for missing the Sunday service, we are only lucky that God is not restricted by religion otherwise we could be the most cursed human beings in the face of the earth.
This are the same words i used to explain to a Al Jazeera journalist who did the documentary THE RELUCTANT OUTLAW. A 25 minute video that was aired for 5 days on Al jazeera network. it shows the real life behind a matatu driver.
For now, we are just average Kenyans working hard to see vision 2030 come to reality. we know its not easy to be 100% committed to the truth but we are trying, while holding on to the words of wisdom left by Jesus in the book of MATT. 5.44, love your enemies, bless them that curse you,do good to them that hates you,and pray for them that despite fully use you and persecute you.


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No solution to the matatu menace.

The matatu industry can not be described better without the word menace;{ if you were to look up the word, it means, threat; danger; hazard peril; nuisance; pain in the neck; trouble maker; pest; annoyance; it makes people feel, threatened, intimidated, terrorized and in real need of help.}
It can not be explained better than in the words of one blog reader who happened to come across one of my posts.
(“The developed world still have road accidents, don’t look far (Adverts don’t stop accidents and its not legendary to use even 1 Kenyan shilling to tell wananchi what they already know, it is hilarious”)

“-Let me begin by saying Media road safety campaigns, the traffic police, the drivers, conductors, body manufactures, HIGH CAPACITY BUSES and setting up departments cant decrease psv accidents or turn around the Kenyan Psv industry for the better!
The local manufactures in collaboration with CMC and GMea haven’t done much to change the Psv image and safety.. How is the Psv industry looking now? here is a few numbers…

(1) Look at the Psvs and School buses involved in road accidents, most of them are locally manufactured HIGH CAPACITY BUSES, matatus and the small Nissans, this idea of high capacity buses woun’t bring any difference please belive me on that… and you don’t normally see this fully built imported Mercedes, TATA, Hyundai, Volvo buses or mini buses with dirty staff, driven recklessly or involved in accidents, because they look well manufactured.. looking at this same old HIGH CAPACITY BUSES around the city all you see is confusion, what you see is random coloring, black smoke, rust, dirt, shouting, broken lights, dirty interior…. etc probably thats why the government kept some off the CBD, but look at the two well known HIGH CAPACITY bus companies operating in the CBD all you see is rust, noise, pealed off paint and stone age design… look at the HIGH CAPACITY githurai buses, the others at machakos bus station, and the other buses in Muthurwa do they seem smart, professional or safe? do they look beautiful? how are they manufactured, very wrong, most Isuzu and Nizzan drivers and conductors also report to work dirty other smelling alcohal, this dirty drivers and conductors are a reflection of their working environment, if a bus is badly designed, passengers refusing to pay, the police hitting with rungus then you have the right to report to work dirty. if the government gave directives on dark window tints, loud music and multi coloring then also goverment should come in to remove all the New but rusty Isuzus and Nissan passenger and public buses in town or in the country, they are ruining the image of Nairobi and Kenya, There is only one respectable bus operator/maker that reflects where Nairobi is and going, but i cant mention names,

(2) Come in to town, check out locally manufactured HIGH CAPACITY buses, this buses are new some of them registration, KBF, KBJ, KBK, KBM, KBN, KBU……etc this buses are supposed to look new but they are old filled with dents, scratches, cracks, paint scratched off, even the passengers write on the seats sometimes they tear them, some passengers even refuse to pay 10 shilling fare probably because its not worth it.

(3) we don’t see traffic cops smashing windows of old saloon cars and of motorcycles, some taxis are mostly second hand vehicles mostly cost less than 200,000 shillings, Nissan and Isuzu matatu costs waaay more.. but do people write on or tear taxi seats? can a taxi driver push you out of a moving vehicle? matatus cost over a million or more shillings, why would a policeman not hesitate to smash a matatu windows off with a rungu and probably be soft to cheaper personal vehicles and motorcycles, police dont only hit the windows, they also hit the body and the lights causing huge damages,

(4) Even the owners at home careless about this locally made Isuzus and Nissan buses, i mean most of the matatus in the morning are dirty, muddy tyres, dirty/dusty interior, floor and seats,

(5) Look at how the Isuzu drivers handle this vehicles, they drive them recklessly up the pavement, going off road in to estates with rocky, potholes, ditches, complicated paths, sometimes drivers put this vehicles on dangerous spots Eg parking half the bus on stage the other rear half on the road putting the rear passengers at risk. even you and i cant be focused on the wheel with all this headache… what is happening in the matatu industry is just too much, from the arrogant public, the government directives, the police, and to the conductors pushing out passengers from a moving vehicle just because of 10 shilling fare? then something is very wrong in the Psv, i mean you board this millions of shillings worth HIGH CAPACITY bus but you refuse to pay only 10 or 20 shillings because you probably see it as a worthless local made Isuzu or Nissan aluminum. You may ignore this happenings but this little things lead to careless driving and accidents.. Vision 2030 is around the corner will we have beautiful buildings, roads and then the same old Isuzu and Nissan matatus on our faces. Do you have a solution to all this? I would love to hear your opinion on the solution..


Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Matatu matters


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