An Open Letter To Hon. Amos Kimunya

6 12 2010

Dear Sir,

RE: 14 SEATER MATATUS AND THE MATATU CULTURE

I hope that this mail finds you in good health.

I admire your previous record as the Minister of Finance. However, your recent announcement that you will be phasing out 14 seater matatus as from 1ST January 2011 is inconsiderate and harsh considering the many Kenyans who use them as their daily mode of transport.

I agree with you the need to decongest the city but to me phasing out the 14 seaters won’t be a solution since from my observation it’s the numerous personal vehicles that cause this congestion! If you doubt this it will be my pleasure to take you out for a fact finding mission. To prove to you that it’s indeed true, why is it that during the day there are usually no traffic snarl ups and yet these matatus operate the whole day? It’s these personal vehicles that cause all the congestion!

Secondly, the 14 seaters take far much less time to fill up as compared to the 29, 33 and 51 seaters which take long to fill up. For example, when going to my home village in Taita, it takes an average of 2 hours for a 14 seater matatu to fill up from the Voi bus terminus so how long will a 51 seater take to fill up?  Also, it’s worth noting that many individuals going upcountry prefer shuttles to the big buses since they take a shorter time to fill up and this is evidenced by the large and growing fleets of the shuttle services companies such as the Rift Valley Shuttle. Transline Classic, Namanga Border Shuttle and others.

In my opinion, it would have been better for you to stop the licensing of new 14 seaters into the CBD rather than the entire country as a whole.

Thirdly, it’s easier to operate a 14 seater as compared to a 29, 33 and 51 seater due to the various costs involved. To start with, it’s cheaper to buy a 14 seater, the costs such as insurance,TLB license fees and city council parking fees are lower as compared to those of 29, 33 and 51 seaters!

Starting with a 14 seater is usually the first step of any investor and therefore removing this step is like discouraging the small entrepreneurs from investing and thus having a negative impact on the economy. It’s said that a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step and so by phasing out the 14 seater is like denying the small investor the first step that determines how far he or she will go. Mr. Kimunya please don’t deny them this right because no successful business has ever started with a large investment think of Nakumatt supermarket and many other small businesses that turned out to be successful.

Sir, if currently to get a loan to buy a 14 seater is difficult, what structures will there be in place that will make it easier for investors to get loans to buy the large buses?

Fourthly, the issue of matatu operators forming saccos and operating under them is well intended but I am afraid that they may turn out to be cartels since due to your directive most of them may not beat the deadline to form saccos and therefore those operators who already have saccos may charge high registration fees which may be exploitative and thus take us back to the dark days of exploitative cartels. In addition, allowing only one sacco per route kills the spirit of competition and thus hindering the operations of the industry.

Fifthly, I fail to understand the relationship between customization of matatus and road accidents. For instance why is it that Traffic policemen harass matatus with tinted windows and yet many personal vehicles have tinted windows including yours? Why the selective application of the law? It has been noted that many tourists visiting Kenya usually marvel and envy our matatu culture, customized matatus with graffiti and car entertainment that’s only unique to Kenya. Sir, by Traffic police harassing matatus that are customized this erodes our culture and leads to unemployment since many talented youths earn their daily bread by customizing these matatus and this may lead to insecurity since these youths lack any alternative source of income.

I vividly recall a documentary presented by Tim Njiru, a renowned Kenyan journalist, on the matatu culture in Kenya aired by the international news cable network Al Jazeera which created awareness on this culture and its impact on the economy and I believe that documentary really marketed Kenya Internationaly!

Sir, I fully support all the road safety measures being undertaken by your ministry and given an opportunity I would be more than glad to assist and participate in any of your campaign programs.

Let more energy be directed to road safety and not on harassing matatus since this ministry of Transport is not all about Public service vehicles but other forms of transport as well.

It’s my sincere hope that all these policies are aimed at improving the sector and not just aimed at benefiting some few individuals.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Guys, I have been appealing to you to sign the petitoin against banning our matatu culture. A big thank you to all those who have taken a few minutes to support our cause.

This letter came from a fellow Matatu lover and we are going to attach it to our petition and seek audience with the Ministry.

Remember together we can achieve more, so keep showing support. The link once again is http://www.petitiononline.com/matatu/petition.html…drop by.

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Nairobi Matatu Dons

1 10 2010

I’m counting down the biggest names in the matatu industry; some are still part of it, while others surrendered. To ward off aspiring groupies and hangers on, I will not be mentioning full government names up in here…sorry.

These are just the ones I know so hit the comment section if you know one that I haven’t mentioned.

KU 45

KU’s Nganya Don is no doubt Abu. From Lollipop->Earthquake-> Chiwawa (KBA) to Chiwawa (KBE)->Chihuahua, he has managed to hold KU down with no stress at all. No competition there.

Bano 106

Despite some competition from Homeboyz and Backyard, I Feel Nothing stays the biggest brand ever to hit Limuru road. Bryan (Bryo) OWNED the route with mats like Drama, Gucci, Black Market, Lollipop, PHD, Rehab and the legendary State House. In fact if you look at my earlier post Throwback Thursday, he owns 3 out of the six 106 mats.

Unfortunately due to police harassment and all other stresses of being in the business, he decided to let go of all his mats and invest in entertainment joints. He owns the Red Carpet clubs, two in Ngara and one in Bano.

We are hoping he’ll make a comeback.

Umoh 35/60

One word, DUST! Frank takes it in that neck of the wood. If you were at the Nganya Awards you couldn’t have missed the grand entrance he made with the convoy of big cars, himself pushing a Hummer. And when I say push I mean drive. NYPD,LAPD and IRS are some of the mats he owns, ride in one of them and give me feedback.

Buru 58

Here it’s a duel between Mike Sonko (Jewel, Ferrari, Ruffcuts, Grills, Lakers etc) and Livondo (Brainchild). Both are big names but Mike easily wins this one coz, well, he is now the government.

So who’s next to campaign?





Congratulations Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi

21 09 2010

I know you know politics really isn’t my forte, but this is matatu related so stay with me.

I just want to congratulate Mike Sonko for capturing the Makadara seat,to be honest I never really thought he could do it. I thought he was just the odd first timer trying to get his name out there for better prospects in 2012. So you can understand why I went ‘WTF just happened?!?’ when it broke on TV that he had ACTUALLY WON! And most of all against veterans like Reuben Ndolo and Mr. Dick, Im proud of you son.

Mike is a Buruburu big shot who made his money investing majorly in the matatu industry. Rumor has it that he is offering free rides on his mats for a week..I donno,Im gonna have to get a confirmation from a Buruan on this one.

For those not in the know, Mike (also known as Artur) is the guy behind mats like Jewel, Ferrari, Ruffcuts, Grills, Lakers, and that double decker bus, All 58’s, and Club Casurina in Buru.

I know this is a really long shot but I’m truly hoping he will do something to bring back our matatu culture,we just cannot live like this.

I had gotten so used to picking mats at my bus stop that going back to boarding just anything, (since they all look the same now) was hard to adjust to. If only we had Ali ‘Mr. I Don’t Care’ Mwakwere on the transport helm,things would be looking up.

Some pics of his mats;

Ferrari

Brown Sugar

DPG

Ruffcuts

Grillz

Pictures sent by readers,loving the support. Thanks y’all 😀





Latest Reps

10 07 2010

So I finally got over the ugly looking mats in town, and accepted that there’s nothing I, or anyone outside the government can do to rescue our streets.

I compiled a few pics of the current ‘it’ mats on the respective routes, you know, just to keep the blog moving.

Funny thing is, a year ago these same mats wouldnt have made headlines but with the giants down,they have no choice but to run the streets.

Here we go though…

Adonai-currently running Jericho

Raw Denim-Runs Buru 58

Gambino

Gambino side view

Gambino back view

So far the only people sending me pics are from Buru, Jeri and related routes, hence their visibility on this site. Should you want me to rep your route send pics to babbygirrl86@yahoo.com and I’ll definately big you up.





Matatus in the line of duty….

19 05 2010

Browsing around the net minding my own bizness, as usual, I came across this video on Ghetto Radio’s Youtube Channel. Peep this;

FYI the mats shown are Eastleigh’s HustleNomics, Brainchild Season 1, Carter III and a couple of others that I didn’t get to see.
Si zimewaka! and the frenoh…uniquely Kenyan I must say.

And this one from Facebook of Dust aka NYPD doing its thing;

PS. Whatever happened to hater vision screens? They were kinda pointless but I miss them 😦





The Transformation Of Brain Child

17 05 2010

Surfing around the web for mat related issues, I discovered that BC is the most popular mat in Nai,plus did I mention that most of my views come from Google searches of Brain Child? Like, 10 people a day Google this mat! WTF? What do they expect to find, a website? Mwenye Brain Child, tafadhali anzisha website, there’s a market just waiting to be exploited. 🙂

Not to hate or anything,but I did like BC…back in 2008 when KBA’s were the hottest thing. Now, I just liken it to Jay-Z who refuses to retire despite his age and the number of new rappers coming in everyday. Some call him Hip Hop’s greatest,but to each his own…ama niaje?

Enough of my opinion, peep below for the transformation of BC. Opinions are welcome, of course.

Previously....

Then....

And now....

I prefer the second transformation.

For the sake of BC stans, I’m not gonna post a pic of how it looked in Jan ’09…you know,the horrible blue paintjob? 😀

Holla!






Week of new releases; our streetz are back!

10 05 2010

Soooooo…..it has been the week of gaining back our streetz. Cops tryna harrass us and keep uz down, but it’s time for them to get with the program. Matatus are here to stay and there aint nothin they can do or say to stop us.

Back to bizness; Brainchild has got to be one mat that has re and re and re-invented it self man. This is like the 4th time it has gone back for re-pimpment. Ionno, i really aint feelin this new look, the spider look was much more sensational. Peep this and gimme ur views.

Brainchild #58

BC side front

Back view,same mat

Front view

Side back

Juiced by......

So? tell me what you think.

Personally, I ain’t feeling the paint job…looks a little bit like dried nail polish 😀

Now to Rhapsody,also known as Codeblack,or LaFace if you like.

Rhapsody front view

Rhapsody side view

Back view

Rhapsody

I like it. I like the simple yet striking dezign. High five to the peeps who did this.

I’d have loved to rep Bano 106 up in here but I haven’t got pictures of Gunsmoke as yet. All I know is, it looks ALOT like Guv’ner.Soon as I snap them pics,you’ll be the first to know 🙂

NYPD pics also coming soon, repping route 35/60.

Big up Matatu group.

Semeni sasa.