If you haven’t been in a Kenyan matatu then please add it on your bucket list this year. Matatus are minibuses that are a common means of transport in Kenya especially in Nairobi. The experience will leave you shocked at a bunch of things.
Just to prepare you, here are 4 things you are most likely to experience:
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Kenyan matatu graffiti
The matatus are quite artistic courtesy of graffiti. The beauty and creativity displayed in the graffiti alongside the lights at night make them more aesthetically pleasing. If you are into art, you will love it. This is a culture revolution that is here to stay. The art work on these minibuses are legal, as long as the graffiti neither blocks the windows nor cover Sacco names. These graffiti features celebrities like TV and movie stars,hip hop artists, footballers and even religious messages. Cool right?
If you are looking to get to your destination and be entertained while at it then matatus should top your list. Some of these matatus have gone the extra mile to solely entertain their customers. They have big screens on the back of every seat, CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi and some have even installed flat screens outside the vehicle. They play loud music and are a favorite means of transport especially among the youth.
I’m not trying to instigate hate against matatu conductors’, but if you haven’t yet met one that is extremely rude then your day is yet to come. One has to be very careful with them especially if you are not used to the whole matatu experience. Avoid confrontations with them. Also don’t sleep while in a matatu expecting the conductor to wake you up at your alighting point. Be alert and generally just mind your business. Don’t expect comfort while inside a matatu especially when conductors decide to overload passengers. You’ll hear phrases like ‘Tupendane hapo nyuma’ to indicate that he intends to overload.
Breaking traffic rules
A staggering number of Kenyans have complained about how matatus always break a bunch of traffic rules. These vehicles are also driven very fast, recklessly even. Do ensure to have your safety belt on cause trust me sometimes it can be a bumpy ride.