This being my first blog ever, negative comments are not welcome. Just kidding :-), no seriously…
Anyhoo welcome to matatumania, Kenya’s unique culture that everyone seems to hate except the owners, employees and a few young people…like me.
I personally don’t get the negativity surrounding matatus. I mean, the fastest way to get to work is to hop into one, the louder, the faster. Of course you will have to pay 10 or 20 bob above normal rates but trust me, the ride is worth every cent.
I’m not a stakeholder in the industry, I dont own any mats, I just love them.
Okay, strictly nganyas with the fly looking crew :-)
Matatuworld is the new celebville, matatu crew ARE celebrities, they got their own breed of fans, groupies…the works.
At the recent Nganya Awards, the first of its kind in Kenya’s history, Eastlands once again affirmed its dominance as far as Nganya’s are concerned. Umoh’s “Heartless” won the best 14-seater while Buru’s “BrainChild” won in the 29-seater category. It was something like the industry’s own grammmy Awards, only cooler.
Umoh's "Heartless" 2010 matatu of the year.
"Heartless" crew celebrating their win at the Nganya Awards
It’s no secret that these ‘death traps’ like the media like to call them, provide jobs for ALOT of young people. You only need to look at them to see what I mean. Those graffix don’t paint themselves, the huge ’10J’ tyres you see in most Nganya’s is the brainchild of young creative minds. So maybe they are driven formula 1 style but come on, we have to remember these things are on the road to make money, the more trips they make the more money, get it?
I admit responsible driving has to be taken seriously, but fast doesn’t always translate to reckless, and that’s the truth. What I hate are the so-called ‘deathraces’ where two matatus from the same route race each other in a bid to get to the customers first, or just to show off. More so because they usually have people in them when they do this, and it can be a scary experience…trust me.
So anyway, love them or hate them they are here to stay, so the best we can do is to embrace them. Or else they will embrace us (I don’t even know what that means.)
More pictures of my favourite mats;
State House rt. 106
Buru's famous Brain Child, or BC if you like
Hulk at the back
"Kenyan" route 118
Some pics courtesy of fellow maniacs, and Facebook.
Feel free to share what route you rep and your favorite matatu…we all have one, don’t we?