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Let us make laws that we can implement and sustain.

Kenya is still ranked as a third world country. As much as We {Kenyans} don’t love or feel comfortable being referred as a 3nd world, we cannot escape this classification since it is not based on what we would wish’ but what we have done compared to other nations of the earth.
We may be building standard gauge railways and probably subways are on the way, Its true, these infrastructures will indeed; push us forward toward escaping the ratings, ease how we travel and communicate and make our country more attractive to other developed nations. But as it stands today we are still a 3nd world.
Our president is leading from the front and we all admire his confidence, we are encouraged by his determination to get us out of the woods, not only for us Kenyans but for Africa as a whole. His call for African solution for Africa’s problems is a pointer to finding lasting solutions to local problems in the continent and even here at home.
Since the Jubilee government come to power, law makers have been very busy making and amending laws. Almost every law in the constitution has been challenged, amended or changed; Media freedom, security, bills of rights, and” of course”  “Traffic act.”
I was among the invited participants to a discussion on the proposed amendments to section 42 of the traffic act {cap 403} this is an act of our traffic laws that deals with safety of children. The bill was tabled in parliament by honorable Member of Parliament for Laisami Joseph Kuton. The bill which is in its third reading in parliament and {according to Hon. Kuton} it will soon be passed to law if the president is okay with it.
The forum was organized by Kenya Alliance for Residents Association {KARA}; National Transport and Safety Authority {NTSA} and Columbia University center for urban Development Among other institutions. The speakers included the deputy Director of safety at NTSA Dr. Duncan kibogong; Institute of legislative affairs CEO Vincent Kimosop, center for sustainable urban development; Dr Jackie Kropp, the sponsor of the bill Hon. Joseph kuton and Kara director Dr. Henry … among others.
The amendments to this act seek to improve children’s safety within the boundaries of their learning institutions, and while on transit to and from schools and non school related activities. Majority of those in-attendances were very objective that this is the way to go. “When we were each asked what our individual expectations were, almost everyone including the media which was well represented was optimistic the bill should go through. On the other hand, I was a bit pessimistic.
I’ve heard it is said that; the devil is in the details.
Section 42 of the Traffic Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Principal Act”) is to be amended by inserting the following new subsections immediately after subsection (3)-

*(3A) A person shall not drive, or, being the owner or person in charge of a vehicle, cause or permit any other person to drive, any vehicle at a speed exceeding thirty kilometres per hour on any road within the boundaries of-
(a) A nursery, primary or secondary school;
(b) An institution where -children reside or normally access by children;
(c) A public playing ground which is normally accessed by children;
(d) An area used by children when crossing to and from school; or
(e) Any health facility.
A person who contravenes this section commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine of 50.000 KES or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 months or both.

I don’t have a problem with the speed limit; what I fail to understand is why? The act only prescribes a penalty or punishment to drivers and not to the Authorities responsible for ensuring that all the supporting infrastructures are in place before the law takes effect?

For instance; the act mandates the highway Authority to; erect and maintain traffic signs as prescribed in the Act so as plainly to indicate to drivers entering or leaving such roads or areas referred to under subsection (3A) where the thirty kilometers per hour speed limit restriction begins and ends;
They are also responsible for; electing, constructing and maintaining speed limiting road design features such as speed bumps or rumble strips, and traffic circles on the roads referred to under subsection (3A) at the areas specifically designated for pedestrian crossing or on any road within a built up area or any section of a road where forward visibility is short.
The highway authority should also Ensure that; traffic routes in the vicinity of nursery, primary or secondary schools and those giving access to the schools are planned, designed, equipped and maintained with safety features such as wide pavements, footpaths, cycle-tracks, roadside barriers, pedestrian crossings and underpasses and footbridges with appropriate signs and markings.

The absence of any of the above infrastructures can lead to violation of the act. I believe the highway authority or NTSA for that matter should also be held responsible and charged in court if an accident occurs or even when the said law is violated where they have not complied.

The other proposed amendment to the Traffic act is in section 1058.
(1) A person or institution shall not designate or use a vehicle for transporting children to and from school or school or non-school related activity unless the vehicle meets the prescribed standards. It gives the Cabinet secretary the overall responsibility of setting the prescribed standards
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (l), a vehicle designated for transporting children To or from school or for any non-school related activity when they are in a group shall be fitted with the prescribed child safety equipments! Design safety features or structures.
A person who, carries or permits another person to carry a child under the age of eight years, on board a vehicle shall ensure that-
(a) The vehicle is fitted with the prescribed child restraint device or Seat; and
(b) The child is always placed in the device or seat whenever on board a vehicle in accordance with the prescribed instructions or guidelines.
A person who being the owner, manager, teacher of a school or a driver of a used for vehicle transporting children, who authorizes or permits the use of a vehicle used for transporting children or is negligent to prevent contravention with this Act commits an offense and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand shillings or imprisoned for a term not exceeding two months or both.

This are the set of laws that every parent would wish to see passed; but as they say. Wishes are not horses, if they were, every beggar would own one.

If the proposed amendments goes through and become law, it will be illegal for a matatu to transport children. students are not among the matatu investors target group and  don’t think any investor will do anything about meeting the requirements or standards. And since Matatus do not meet the prescribed standards i.e. they don’t have child restraints or seats for children, it will be illegal to carry them.

What we need to first ask ourselves is; why do school going children use unsafe transport/ matatus in the first place?

In my observation as a matatu driver, majority of the school going children who go to school via public transport are those from free public schools. Quite a number of those are from the poor families who take advantage of free education and probably because those schools are quite a distance from home, the children must need transport. Most of these public schools don’t provide transport and that is where we as the matatu fraternity come in.
Matatus are probably the only affordable means/ option for majority of people in Kenya to travel long and short distances. This also includes the school going children who need to board Matatus to and fro school. We are the ones Head teachers call upon to provide transport to students during curriculum related activities like drama festivals, school trips, etc. and since the education ministry has not come up with alternative means of transport to meet this need, Matatus are left with the responsibility of providing the much needed services.
Kenya is a developing country which means, it does not have all the infrastructures or the means to sustain and fully implement this laws.

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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Its life, Matatu matters

 

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useful, used and abused- matatu man.

It’s been four years since I started writing this blog; looking back, I can proudly say i have made a difference. I have convinced a number of Kenyans in the diaspora to invest in the transport industry and generate income here at home instead of sending handouts to relatives back home every now and then.This blog has helped quite a number of people find footing in the transport sector. This year alone,2014; I have met about five investors who came to OngataRongai and I have helped two to access asset finance from a bank and two have actually bought 33 seater minibuses cash at General motors. A doctor in Germany and a Kenyan working in Iraq have brought home over 10 million in cash; creating permanent employment to six persons and benefiting hundreds locally and not to mention thousands of shillings the government has made and will continue to earn in taxes.
One other thing I have learned through this forum is that, most people don’t wish to pay to get sound advice on investment opportunities; I really doubt if business consultants in this country do actually make any good money selling investment ideas. Not unless I’m doing things the wrong way or advising the wrong people. Of all those who have read and contacted me and those who have benefitted from my advice; maybe one or two has offered to pay for my transport to the meetings at the banks or to the car dealers despite the fact that I go to those meetings to introduce them to my connections who makes their dream of owning a beautiful Matatu on Kenyan roads come to reality.
Some, after accessing finance or actually buying the Matatu’s, marvel at their boosted financial ability and forget that there are those who stood in the gap, or as they say- those who helped them up the mountain.- What hurts me the most and I’m really saddened; are those who come to me as first time investors and very new in the matatu industry. We hold meetings in hotels and through one way or the other we agree to team up and shop for and buy a matatu.
As soon as I introduce them to the route and they get to meet other players,they are somehow tempted by the corrupt elements in the matatu sector with promises of security and police protection and unrealistic of higher incomes. They are introduced to shortcuts to evade paying taxes and getting away with traffic requirements and charges; the vehicle hits the road with fake Documents. The problem comes when the new owners realize they were taken for a ride and disagree with the cartels and they withdraw the cover and protectors expose them to the cops and hang them out to dry.
The other things I have noticed is how some influential people in our society take others for granted. I was taken by surprise and shocked at the same time; when an investor came to my office and asked me why I call myself James/wambururu on my personal and public profile and contacts while I use the name“Fredrick?” in my published articles. I told him I was not aware if I was using two names; wondering why he thought I can choose to drop my trademark “Wambururu” a name I have worked hard to build and I have had to explain the meaning and to spell countless times to foreign researchers and journalists for a common name likeFredrick!.
It was then that he pulled a copy of thePSV MAGAZINEPublished and owned by MATATU OWNERS ASSOCIATION {MOA} and went straight to the page and showed me the name of the writer of one of the articles which according to him, he had read previously in my blog. I could not believe that I was actually reading my thoughts and my writing pattern in a published magazine. To my surprise, the editor had not just used my article; he had actually published five of my blog posts in just one issue of their monthly publication. Unknown to this writer,the magazine has been publishing articles from this blog and selling it to the publicgiving those different names for each story but the content was purely my work-copied and pasted-even with my typing mistakes and grammatical errors.
When I called the publishers to find out how he just decided to publish “my articles without even a byline to point the readers tothe original writer,” He told me it was not his concern since he commissioned for all the articles and that he had bought the rights from the said commissioned writers to publish and sell the articles. I requested him to give me the contacts of the people he had paid for the articles but he decline and told me he would warn them never to do that again. It is called protecting the source.
They were lucky and got away with a warning for undermining me and my painfully sort and researched contents: I guess I should be thankful that what I write is worth something to somebody else. But I hope one day I will create a chance to meet the said Fredrick; and those others who were paid for my work.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Its life, Matatu matters

 

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Addiction and the chaos in the matatu sector.

When the matatu welfare association forwarded my name to NACADA for a TOT training on Alcohol and Drugs Abuse {ADA}. I felt like i was the wrong person for this training. I could not see any connection between Road safety and workers welfare which is my specification at the association and the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse{ NACADA }. If at all, I was partaking on one of the substance Nacada was campaigning against. More so, i did not think that going back to class was the best option considering the timing of the training and another meeting at KIPPRA where I represent hundreds of matatu drivers under the KENYA CIVIL SOCIETY NETWORK FOR NMT AND ROAD SAFETY. I had all the reasons to seek for an excuse not to attend the training but, I didn’t.

Come the day we were to report at the college for registration and i packed my learning gear and headed to Karen. I’m really glad i did; By the end of the week, i was so sure i know the reason we have all these chaos and mismanagement in the matatu sector. It had never occurred to me that Alcohol and Drugs could be responsible for most of the miseries workers in the public transport service sector had gone through and continue to suffer from. I listened keenly as facilitators skillfully opened our minds to the reality that addiction is causing havoc in the life’s of Kenyans,- affecting every area of our livelihood and our personal health.

I had always thought that chewing MIRAA, smoking weed and a few tots of whiskey was a cool thing and also a boost to our performance since our jobs require a lot of focus, determination and recklessness that can only be described as bordering insanity. This three substances have been the source of that courage for many a matatu driver to a curtain point that- they have become accepted as part of our lifestyle. But as i sat in that lecture room listening to expert talk about alcohol and drugs and their effects on the users, I could connect every explanation with somebody i know or have worked with in the matatu industry.

When the lecturer talked about Alcohol, i could see many alcoholics by name, the life they are leading, the consequences of their choices and the direction addiction had taken their life’s. when they talked about inhalants, i was finally able to connect the -teenage deaths- of many street children who come to collect plastic bottles from our buses with the glue they sniff. I had notice a certain pattern where many of the street kids die young or develop permanent mental illness. The issue of MIRAA chewing really surprised me and I’m still very deeply concerned about the effects of this substance that is legally available across the country with no restriction in producing, processing and sale.

Miraa {twigs} and muguka {the leaves} cause more damage to the user that marijuana  and  cigarettes combined. Like the bible writer had posed it; WHAT IS THE PROFT OF GAINING THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSING YOU SOUL IN THE PROCESS? the same is true for those abusing these products of the evergreen CATHAEDUIIS tree. Many who innocently chew on the substance  to stay alert and work more hours behind the wheels are at the same time working their way to self destruction and endangering the survival of their species.Miraa is said to have grave and irreversible effect on the reproductive system causing impotence. This alone is reason enough to break hundreds of homes as is evident in majority of users. other effects included patched up sleep that catches up with the driver while on the road resulting to serious accidents.

Matatu industry has the highest number of drug abuser in all public services sectors in our country. In my 14yrs behind the wheels i have experienced and experimented on most of this substances.many of us chew miraa to work long shifts and like i said, our job description require focus determination and confidence. Marijuana is the drug of choice for many as it gives the user a sense of well being, bravely, confidence and allow us to exhibit recklessness that is next to madness. The false confidence and false bravely mixed with other long term effect of the drug like, sudden panic, poor judgment, and paranoia [ unreasonable fear} can be associated with hundreds of accidents that goes unreported where matatu owners agree to compensate the affected party to avoid involving the police as their driver is intoxicated and also the one to blame for the accident.

Since receiving the training, i have been engaging my comrades into discussions on the effects of alcohol and drugs and to my surprise, many are those who are suffering in silence. it is extremely painful to watch a loved one or somebody you know very well destroy his/her life; but this is the position many of us are forced to take when a chemically dependent loved one or a friend denies having a problem with substances. If any, majority of us condemn the affected instead of understanding that addiction is a disease; we blame them for having a problem with morals.

Any government institution ,NGO or civil society willing to bring sanity and order on our roads especially the matatu sector must look at the issue of drug abuse as a contributing factor in the mismanagement of the trade and be willing to help and give hope to the affected. a calculated approach aimed at healing and reconciliation will go a long way in ending the chaos and confusion in the matatu sector and in the long run reduce accidents by a very big margin. Tackling the drugs and substances abuse in the matatu sector is not an easy task but that is not to say it is impossible. The reason being that majority of those using the substances are already hooked or addicted and have a long history of dependency on the drug unlike students or the youth in learning institutions. The national Government must look at the big picture and find a long term solution to this menace.

Another area that will require a closer look and more serious approach is the area of counseling for drivers who have been through tragic accidents. There are many who are suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and many take to drugs and or alcohol to seek reprieve. Once hooked to drugs dependency , it becomes very hard to come out. Recovery from addiction is a long road that requires almost the same treatment as chronic diseases; this is an expensive journey that most matatu workers will never travel. Recovery from addiction can only be achieved through a combination of self-management, mutual support and professional help. To accomplish this task we must stop looking at it as a problem affecting matatu workers and start looking at it as a problem affecting the society.

 
 

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Oh woman of means, why a matatu driver?

My beloved, how gracious it is to come home to you; 11 yrs have passed since you run away from home to come live with me. You were truly meant to be with me. many are the times i ask my self, what drives you? What keeps you going? why are you so loyal? I can’t understand; You drive me crazy with your almost insane affection. You remind me of the preacher’s words that ‘a wife is a gift from God.

My beloved, why did you ignore them? all your friends and family warned you about loving me. they said there was no gain in loving a matatu driver, an addict, a womanizer who lived a borrowed life, a school drop-out and a tenant whose good fortune depended on his ability to pay the bills. They thought you were out of your minds when you moved in with me and got pregnant. What did you see in a looser? They all wondered; but you were dedicated; You stood by me and turned me from a boy into a man; you allowed me space to make mistakes and learn- I’m ashamed to say that i matured under your wings.

You instil fear in my heart when i reflect on the hundreds of times i have wronged you- The crap i have done behind your back, the lies i have told you and the theories i have made you believe-oh woman of faith- You are fearfully and wonderfully made- Fearfully because you scare me with my guilt and wonderfully because you still love me after all that. My beloved, they don’t know you like i do. But they must have known you exist. though it is me they see on the streets, i am sure they must have know i have a helper. They congratulate me on being smartly dressed, arriving before time. All i can do is nod my head; ashamed to take the full credit because i know it is not my honor but yours. You call me five times before i leave the bed, the water is always running in the bathroom and coffee on the table. oh woman of courage what do you see in me?

They pat me on the back for completing my assignment on time; I only  nod my head, ashamed of the fights  and arguments we had while you were pushing me to finish my projects. why do you care so much? you sacrifice your beauty and freedom to make us a home; what a joy to see my children coming to you every evening- you are always there to receive them and ask them what they have learned. The gods must have sent you to me. but why? what did i do to deserve such a person like you? It must be that time I……..? No,, It must be because of……….? but wait , may be it is because i am…….? You see, I can’t find any reason why you are so good to me. It must be love,, yes love, they say love is blind, it must have blinded you.

My beloved, should you work so hard? i never understand you, not a bit. You left your employment to bring up our children, but you never stopped working. You wake before all of us, you sleep after all of us and you never complain. You are the maid, the gardener, the teacher, the laundry, the cook and my editor. You read everything i write {except this} before i publish it, you are my biggest fan and my worst critic. oh my beloved. daughter of man- attractive woman, beautifully adorned. You dress like a pastors wife not concerned that you are a matatu drivers wife. You have made the neighbors to hate me; they say i don’t deserve someone like you. They hate me when i stagger home at 2am in the morning; They hate me even more when they see you singing hymns at the church, while I’m nursing hangover on the sofa.

My lawyer and intercessor, how many times have you brought me food and warm cloths at police stations? how much have we spent on court fines? how many times have you visited the prison? Many times they must be; but you never give up. You have learned to speak the language and negotiate justice for me. A hard worker who have her sources of revenue, a” butter winner” who adds taste to the bread i call myself the winner. You surrendered your rest and comfort along time ago, Why can’t you not sleep like everybody else? instead you wait for me at the living room, on the sofa closer to the door so that you can hear my foot steps, Even when i change course and go out with the boys, you stay up praying for me; Praying that i don’t get into an accident, i don’t get arrested, i don’t encounter robbers on the way and i don’t get trapped by a loose woman.

Oh my beloved ,my reliever, how i laugh at Homosexuals and gays- what a miserable life they are leading. All because they never found a woman like you. you capture me with seduction, i can’t believe you still find me attractive. You dress for me, make special things just for me, You look me in the eyes and lift me to the heavens. oh my beloved, you are full of romance, You guide me through the intimate session, bit by bit showing me how to reap the full benefits and when I’m done, sweating and breathing fire, you let me collapse next to you, you wait til I’m snoring before you turn my neck and cover me. that’s when your night begins.

My beloved, let it be known to you and to all those who know i and you exist that ; Your birth was of God’s.  your works have testified that you are worth of the title WIFE. You have been a blessing to this matatu driver and his children. Your life in planet Earth has brought happiness to other souls. As lovers across the world reach out to those they dearly love, expect to hear from me. happy valentine my one and only.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Its life, Matatu matters

 

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Video

Matatu and those who drive them.

I am one

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Its life, Matatu matters

 

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My Dad’s note that gave meaning to my day today’s life.

On the day I left home to go to the city to look for a job 15 yrs ago, I had no certificates or any recommendation.I had never been employed outside the family businesses. The only tool of trade that could help me get a job was my one year old driving license. My dad called me and asked me if i was ready to face the world on my own and i remember very well that i confidently told him i was ready to joining the matatu industry. That evening he gave me an envelop with 3000 Ksh rent. For my new-house and this message;“Everything depends on God’s Grace; To get His grace, Whatever Work You Perform, Do it with sincerity and Earnest Longing. Through His Grace, environment will be favorable and conditions for realizing your dreams will be perfect.” That was then.

Being a matatu driver and a blogger has opened a whole new world for Wambururu; A few years ago, I never could have thought I would ever set foot in places i have visited on official invitations and met people I’ve met.My blog has of late started to compete in earnings with my driver’s job and this is good news i would wish to share with all of you who read of this blog. It is quite an interesting way of making a living especially for somebody who was used to sitting behind the wheels of a public service vehicle for 15 hours to make 10 dollars, now turned to a FIXER.

I got this title -FIXER- from an American photo journalist who had contacted me to help him find the perfect locations for a story he was working on. The deal was that I will take him wherever he wanted to go in his research and he would compensate me fully for the time i could have alternatively be sitting behind the steering of my matatu. He told me that people who do that for foreign journalists are called Fixers. And a fixer i became.

We started our trail to find out what happens to electronics in Kenya and especially Nairobi once they are no longer useful. The code name of the project was “e-Waste” We started off at Dadora dump site as we had been directed by a report from a UN agency.- {the only available current data in the internet, about ewaste: last updated in 2009.} The report and also a section of the media report, had warned that the electronic waste was becoming a healthy hazard to citizens living near the dump-site; as some of the components used to make computers are a big risk and can even cause diseases like cancer.

A lot must have changed since the time the report was posted, as by the time we got there, there was not a single electronic item in the dump-site.With that in mind, my contract with the photo journalist would have to be extended if ever he was to know the truth. What we were looking for was not in the dump-site. Those we asked told us that such items do not end up in the dump and even the ones that do get there are instantly collected and resold to buyers who camp at the site buying anything with value.

My American friend could not believe that he had followed a not so accurate data about the health hazard in Kenya, said to be caused by ewaste. To get the facts collect, we tracked down one of the Garbage tracks and organized for him to ride in the track the whole day as it did it’s round and follow the trash all the way to the dump-site. It was a smelly ride and also an eye opener for the ewaste research. He discovered that- garbage collectors have one or two of their own, who’s main job is to go through all the trash that is loaded in the track and sort out any resell-able item like, Metals, plastic, electronics etc.before they dump at Dadora. With nothing from the main dump-site, we had to come up with another approach. For the whole time he rode in the track, he did not see a single electronic waste. This could only mean one thing, nobody was throwing away the items.

The next step was to trace where most of the waste could be generating from and find out what happens between the trash bin and the dump-site. The most obvious place to start would be the repair shops  who have the final word on the fate of any electronic device. We started in the CBD and went all the way to River Road- We stop at many repair shops and all those we asked told us that there are collectors who come to their workshops and buy the stuff. Mobile phone’s and computer’s “mother boards” were the most sort after of all electronics as they fetched good prices.

A visit to National Environment Management Authority did not yield much as the institution is only mandated with registration and issuance of licenses to waste collectors. As we tracked the ewaste from the dump-site through repair shops, we ended up in go-downs in Ngala and Baba Ndogo in Nairobi upper industrial Area- we came across fully established big companies with foreign expertise and employees, modern offices dealing in exporting the electronics waste out of the country. The contract lasted a couple of days and when he was satisfied, he flew back to his country and left a very happy fixer.

This was not the first time i was offering my services to journalist; although previously, i did not get any money from them; if anything, I had to spend my own cash for transport and meals as we worked on television and newspaper stories. I have previewed articles, books, assisted in editing documentaries and arranged transportation for cast and crew to filming locations among other tasks.. My helping hand, I have taught me many drills when it comes to film production. Also through the blog i have been contacted to arrange and offer transportation for International journalists, researchers, university students from across the world and local learning institutions. I have had my 5 minutes of fame in a local popular  television Drama “papa shiradula” My writing and documentaries have been used by teachers and students in Sweden and Moscow. and a short film about my career as a matatu driver is currently competing at the Guinness film festival in France.

The events of my life and career has left most of my friends in the matatu industry wondering, surprised, and questioning my intentions. Also IT experts are advising me on publishing my popular blog on my own domain- web-site. I hear that i might be making some few extra coins from GOOGLE. That is also good news. When i think about all that has happened and what is happening today, i can only thank my dad for the words he share with me that have come to pass in my own life.

 

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What can i do for Kenya?

Whenever one reads a saying pitting a fool and a wise person, No one wants to be likened to the latter. No one wants to be the fool.There is this one saying, that keeps hunting me and placing me in the defense, to proof I’m not the fool.It says that : Only a fool does the same thing twice expecting different results.: But to be honest,In more than one occasion, I have  found myself doing things that had once gotten me in trouble, hoping that things will turn out differently, only to regret in the end.

When I dropped out of high school in form Two, and then, found myself in the streets before joining the matatu industry, I felt like i had lost the straggle.I watched those who competed and went to college take up jobs and build houses of their own.  My parents were disappointed, and could not imagine that the son who had been doing so well in school had suddenly changed and joined the outlaws. I became a tout back then and my place was at the door of the then popular 25 seater Isuzu 3.3 diesel engine minibuses. plying Route Number 2. Dagoretti market.

After four years of playing cat and mouse with the city council askalis as a tout, I graduated to a driver and become the property of the traffic police. There was something criminal about driving matatus wheteher you are caught in the act or not. Arrests and detentions, court fines. gang fights, rioting university students and more arrests.  My dad and my wife have bailed me out of stations and prisons more times than I was rushed to hospital when i was a kid.

I once told my dad that i was quitting the job and going back home to start a new life, but he couldn’t hear any of it. He is the Kiambu ones who don’t believe that a circumcised man can eat from his mothers kitchen. He told me that giving up would not solve my problems and even if i didn’t  like the industry, the people there needed my skills and it was no use taking them to the village. My mother thought i would do better running a retail shop in the village, than always getting in trouble with the police As much as i didn’t like being locked up, I could not live with defeat. Not with my fathers promise that He will never let me rot in jail.

Today, ten years later, I’m glad i stayed on. Despite the many problems i have to go through every single day, My experience has changed the way people look at the industry and given me a new career. My desire to speak on behalf of my fellow workmates has opened a new window for me to develop a new career as a writer. Will I go back to being a matatu driver?

Well, I don’t want to proof that I’m not a fool by doing the same thing twice expecting different results; but, I hope to be part of the industry for a little longer. I plan to buy my own matatu in the future and see the industry from the owners point of view.

When I sit under a tree in a secluded place to have a chat with myself, I look at what man has achieved and how nature has remained faithful in providing the raw materials and i ask myself, what is life all about? I think it’s a journey of all mankind, and what we now have is the contribution of  every generation that has lived on this planet; all aimed at making this world the heaven we all dream about. Kenya is a solid earth and has no expiring date, it is not too late to fix the few problems we have and focus on improving the way we conduct our businesses and how we relate with each other.

There are thousands of Kenyans who did not get the opportunity to get A or O level education and therefore have limited chances of applying for the jobs that are advertised in companies and various institutions but offer a much needed service in mobility. All we are asking from Kenyans and policy makers is to see us for what we do. There is nothing wrong with this service sector that is different from what is happening in other service sectors.

As somebody once said.”Let it be said of you that, the world is better for you having lived in it.”

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Its life, Matatu matters

 

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