I’ve been in the Matatu industry for 20 years. in the late 90s started as a conductor for four years – then a driver for close to twelve years – and i’m currently a vehicle owner and also the operations manager for a transport management company based in Nairobi.

This blog is purposely written with the aim of sharing my experience and insight in the public service with all who are seeking answers either for investment purpose or for research.

You can reach me directly on 0724 384676        {+254724384676}



48 responses to “About

  1. Deborah Mutanu

    December 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Jumbo sana James. I am an ex Peace Corps volunteer from Kenya and am so pleased to be able to read your blog. Please keep writing.
    Warm Regards
    Deborah aka Mutanu kutoka Ukambani, sasa indani US.


    • wambururu

      December 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Deborah, I will always remember you are reading what I’m writ
      ting. I’m happy for you to have made it that far.
      Cheers sister.


  2. Evysart

    December 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Im following your blog!! Peace!! We will make a nice project someday through my art


  3. iamdavidowino

    March 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Hi James,
    I felt really encouraged by your story on Al jazeera; I love your spirit, I have actually taken your matatu a number of times, I live in Rongai.
    I am also glad to learn that you are interested in filming, that’s my industry.
    I started from scratch and am headed there, and i believe with your spirit you can achieve it all.
    Many thanks and good luck bro!


    • wambururu

      April 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks David; I am happy for you to have already started. You will see more of me in the coming days. thank you for encouraging me; i know you will teach me the robes. see you soon.


  4. Cassim

    April 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I think you should put a link on your blog to the fascinating al-Jazeera documentary about your life and work;


    • wambururu

      April 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks for the tip; I’m working on it. Sure,, there are even more videos and radio interviews. coming soon on this blog. {positive idea noted} thanks.


  5. Amirah T.

    April 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Sasa Wambururu

    I am a young Kenyan film maker and would like to get in touch with you regarding research for a short film/project I am making that involves matatu culture and ten other upcoming Kenyan film makers.
    My team and I look forward to hearing from you.


    • wambururu

      April 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks for the opportunity; I will surely get in-touch. I hope you want the positive side of the matatu industry. Keep checking this blog for more stories and news about the transport industry and the players.


  6. Malangkan

    May 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Hi James, I like to hear of inspiring (life-)stories. Yours certainly is one. Just want to wish you all the best for your future and keep the good stories coming. Big Up! Tim


  7. gody musau

    May 10, 2012 at 10:05 am

    hi james i like your ambition and ur creativity. you are surely meant for the stars. i wish u alla the best in ur endeavours. keep it up and may God bless u n ur family
    big up man!


  8. Sarah Geraldine

    May 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Sasa. I just found ur blog while I was searching for the contacts of double m matatus, but I doubt that I will ever find them … It is very interesting to read “ur side” and I even like ur writing style. I am driving each day from buruburu to village market by matatu and since I believe in God I can do this and feeling safe, but sometimes I am really wondering how we got through the traffic, the wholes in the streets and so on …. I have to mention I am from Germany and one cant compare my way to work here in nbr to the transport in Germany, but somehow everything is doable! And every way is like his own adventure … All the best for ur future and I guess from now on I will have a look at ur blog from time to time. Take care. Sarah


    • wambururu

      May 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      I’m happy to have you in my blog page; thanks for the comment and good wish. I’m happy to know that you don’t ruin your whole day causing matatu drivers-but rather you concentrate with getting to you destination and back. I wish you a safe drive everytime and pray you will never meet a drunk or a tout driving on your lane. all the best for you Sarah. thankyou for your time. you will get the contacts in you mail;- if you haven’t already; Somebody called Arif has the details, i pray he pass them to the blog. cheers and keep it here for more on matatu industry.


  9. Kurian Joseph

    July 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hello james namaste ,today i saw the documentary on matatu drivers on al-jazeera and i’m really blessed to know how you people take each and every day as a challenge, face obstacles with uncertainty looming over the matatu industry. Though i’ve not been to any african country but i suppose there is a similar mode of motorcycle transportation known as BODA BODA in uganda too, brother james i think it has the same story just as a matatu driver.
    Brother james u are strong , willing and determined to survive for yourself and for the sake of your family. You are an inspiration to everyone in hard times.God bless u and your family and give us more inspiration from your blog…suprise us !!.


  10. Anthony Awimbo

    July 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Sema James

    mazeee jamaa just watched your documentary on Aljazeera very insipiring keep pushing your writing and definately your perspective of the really Nairobi today is fundamental to getting ahead.
    The sky is the limit and wish you the best in the writing,
    Safi mzee, Tony from Leeds. UK


  11. Patrick Loturi

    July 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Sema Wambururu!
    Just inspiring brother! It takes one to change the face of industry seen as full of gangs and crooks. Matatus will always be part of Nairobi. I am full of memories while riding mats to school in the early 2000s. I just could not imagine Nairobi without mats. The government should see Mat as part of social fabric of what Nairobi is. Every city has its swagger, and indeed matatus are part of that swag! The documentary is just incredible and I hope you get your book deal in order, I am ready to read and digest more of your insight. You are a honest, family man, take care of those kids, your wife and I am very hopeful utamake manze!


    • Sue

      July 27, 2012 at 2:58 am

      I agree with you Patrick. I also have many memories of riding in Matatus in the early 2000’s. They are an important part of the city and yet are often seen as a nuisance. Great documentary, keep writing Wambururu!


  12. Peter

    July 18, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Hi James,
    I watched your documentary on Al jezira TV. I live in Calgary, Alberta- canada. There is nothing I can tell you brother. you have it all and I ask you to continus doing the right things for your country.


  13. derek

    July 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Hi James,
    Saw your Al Jazeera documentary, congratulations & good luck to you. I used to live in Nairobi & know Billy, hope he pulls through for you & gets you behind a computer writing rather than behind the wheel of a matatu!


    • wambururu

      July 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      We are working on it; billy has promised to help me come up with a book worth All The people waiting to read it. I have the best eyes{Ciku & Billy} for this first book and i promise you; it will be worth it. Keep checking the blog and I’ll let you know when its ready. soon; very soon.


  14. Maryanne Morris

    July 19, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Hallo there. I have been looking for blogs with such a platform. I was wondering if there is a way you can assist. I would like to know who to contact when matatu drivers and touts get out of hand. Today morning, from town to westlands it was 50 Kenyan shillings. Who decides on these prices and what criteria is used. Lately the fares on that Nairobi-westalnds-kangemi route have been fluctuating from 30 shillings to 40 shillings and today 50shillings. That is insane. Who can I contact to address my complaint? Thank you


    • wambururu

      July 19, 2012 at 8:04 am

      Hello MaryAnne;
      first I would like to thank you for taking the effort to seek explanation as to why fares suddenly raise by margins that can not be reasonably possible in the business market. I have to agree with you; bearing in mind that the normal fare from Westland’s to town is 20.Sh. The increase which is worth a return trip and some change; can arise due to various reasons; from greed; extortion; time taken in case of heavy traffic; the law of demand & supply; travel class – the fancier the matatu the higher the fare.} among other reasons. I don’t know how traffic was in the morning but I hope you can identify one of the reasons I’ve mentioned and perhaps see where the crew were taking advantage or grabbing an opportunity.

      About where you can address an grievances regarding any mistreatment or lost/ stolen property or when matatu crew get out of hand as you put it; the issue and the solution still remains in our hands. that is to say; the only person you can talk to is the cop as much as you would love to talk to somebody else.I guess the first step is to admit that we have all failed to play our parts and thus why the matatu industry has become what it is today.
      The next step is to build the platform that is not there. we can demand from the government or do it ourselves or through NGOs.
      I’m sorry that you started your day on a bad note and; we are largely to blame for that; but have lovely afternoon.


  15. sunthar vykunthan (@suntharv)

    July 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Hello James,

    Just watched the Aljazeera Story. Brought me back to the many Matatu rides I had while I worked in Nairobi two years ago.Your story and will are truly inspiring. I wish you the best with developing your writing career; keep telling the real stories and I think you will do very well.

    Best Wishes again!


  16. abduljalil yakubu

    July 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    hi, i just watched the documentary featuring you on the aljazeera channel and i find it quite inspiring.
    i live in vancouver, canada and have always been a great admirer of kenya. i hope to visit the country some day.
    keep up the good work and remain blessed.


  17. Taiwo Akinlami

    July 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Dear James: I watched you on Al Jazeera today and i was highly inspired by your story. Your presentation was unusually brilliant. I see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. I wish you God-speed in your dreams. Stay INSPIRED


  18. Baba Simba

    July 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I am very impressed with your biography. I hope you will achieve your personal goals. Is your book published? I also think that your involvement is also a great support for the entire profession of matatu drivers. I hope that it will have matatus in Kenye forever. Just without corruption. The modrnen Buse I do not like and they will make the rich even richer! Power to the pople.


  19. mohamed omar

    September 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Enough respect bro. i am in uk and i admire u hard working we have got enough in common. man has to work in order to live. peace and love…


  20. Matt

    September 24, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Hi James,

    I am a wildlife researcher living and working on a private conservancy north of Nanyuki. A Canadian researcher (who used to work here in Laikipia as well) sent me the link to your article on Al-Jazeera and I enjoyed the directness with which it addressed the Matatu driver’s point of view in terms of what issues affect them most and how they are perceived by the public. I followed up by reading some of your blog posts and I have to say you lend some great insight into how frustrating the system is for matatu drivers. I use matatus as my primary means of travel because I find the system well organized, flexible, and easy to use. As an American, I am constantly rankled seeing all of these ‘safety checkpoints’ extorting matatu drivers who are just doing their jobs and make a living. That basic level of corruption strikes me as just as bad as them physically reaching into your pocket on the street and stealing from you.

    Keep up the good work, the world of matatus benefits greatly from you getting the word out.


    • wambururu

      September 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Thank you Matt; It is really encouraging to know that it matters to not just to us in the matatu industry but also citizens and general public who use our mode of transport; also share in the frustrations caused by corruption. We will keep doing what we can and hope the new regime will takes us a step forward. Thank you for writing back,
      I’m in the transport business; just in-case you have passengers who need transport.
      Check for new post every week-


  21. Patrick

    October 12, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I saw you mentioned on the BBC and found your blog. I’m a blogger too. I really like what you write about. I wish you all the best, as well as peace and happiness for you, your family and the people around you.

    Amsterdam, Netherlands


    • wambururu

      October 15, 2012 at 7:44 am

      Thanks partrick; I will check your blog and see what you write about; thanks a lot for encouraging words. i hope to keep the blog going for as long as i can keep it.


  22. Orion Alexander

    October 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    James, hello and best wishes from Canada. I had the opportunity to watch your documentary and was very moved by your story. I think your blog is great, and it helps those of us half a world away to understand the situation in your country.

    Best Wishes,


    • wambururu

      October 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Thank you so much; It is much joy to know that even people from far away who don’t know about our matatu transport system still have something to gain fro the blog. I sure hope to hear more from you.


  23. Maureen Jepchumba

    October 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Hi Wambururu,

    Just discovered your blog today and I am one of those who take matatus to work. I must admit I’ve been ignorant about the issues you have to face daily on the road and more so as a Christian. Hoping to catch up on your writing. Great video documentary – many times we criticize what we don’t understand. i guess that’s human. I wish you all the best in your quest to create change in the matatu industry. I believe we all have a place/ purpose in the society and God gives us each the grace and strength to overcome what we face. And there is hope, with guys such as you! Godspeed to us all!


  24. martin

    September 16, 2013 at 7:38 am

    hi James
    you are such an inspiring story …such a blessing.
    I would like some business advice from you …is it possible to get your contacts


  25. Simon

    December 21, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Hae.I like your work.How much does it cost to fit a matatu with seats and how much does the TLB cost per year?Interested in the matatu industry.Thanks.


  26. waithanji

    October 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Wasafari kudos for enlighting us: Who came up with sacco fare setting mechanism coz i dwell in zimma44 8-10km from NcBD maximum time on road 15-25mins no matter jam level fare 80 while Thika 40km away fare still 80 Rongai/Ngong/Karen/Limuru still 80


    • wambururu

      November 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      it”s all business- the law of demand and supply applies even in our industry.


  27. tony Mbugua

    December 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

    i’m happy to have read your article. I am trying to make a comeback to the mat industry I need a financier. I have identified the route and sacco.


  28. Olare Nixon

    February 19, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I find your work well researched. i wish you do an article on the tranport saccos, regulations for their formation and hoe they are run.


    • wambururu

      March 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      keep it here; i will surely do the piece you have requested.


  29. Thomas

    March 31, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Liked very much your articles. I want to buy a 33 sets bus. Can you sugest to me age and price. Thanks


  30. phoebe

    June 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Hi, are you still writing articles on the matatu industry?


  31. Carlos

    August 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Which routes do u manage ?


    • wambururu

      January 30, 2018 at 5:58 am

      Route 125 Nrb to Rongai. Ongataline transporters.



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