Those who count in Kenya are honored via matatu graffiti


If you want to really know who or what matters to Kenyans at any point, look at the graffiti on its urban matatus. The cultural temperature of the country at any point can be measured in those paintings, drawings and matatu literature.

That is the place you will find politicians who the people truly look up to; from revolutionaries like Che Guevara or Dedan Kimathi, or Miguna Miguna, to trail blazers like Barack Obama to up and coming mavericks like Babu Owino, Sakaja or Sonko, to the ones they respect like Raila or Uhuru. You will never find Wetangula or Peter Kenneth on any matatu.

Occasionally you’ll get a mischievous persona like Waiguru or Waiganjo or Onyancha- but these are purely for comic relief.

This is where you find true celebrities: The artists and musicians who have captured the imagination of the public like Khaligraph Jones, or E-Sir -who has been gone for years yet each year he is on some new matatu- or Jua Cali or Mejja or Nonini or Octopizzo etc. You’ll never get Anto Neosoul or Kagwe Mungai on any matatu… they may sing well but, they sing things that are unrecognizable to the public.

On matatu graffiti, you’ll get Origi and Mariga and Oliech and some footballer you’ve never heard of. You’ll get Wanja the national women’s volley ball queen, and her team here. You’ll get Eliud Kipcoge and Rudisha here and Tegla Lorupe too, years after she hung her boots.

This is where church pastors that draw thousands of crowds live, yes the ones we call conmen. Dr. Owuor is there, Ng’ang’a is there and Ringtone is there too. They are all here.

Lawyer Ahmed Nasir-Grand Mullah is on matatus, lawyer Kethi Kilonzo is on matatus, Bob Collymore for his success with Safaricom is on matatus, Eric Omondi for his comedy, Lupita for her Hollywood success is on matatus, Mbusi for his radio success is there too, just like Kingang’i and Maina- yet no professional journalist with a shelf full of Media Council Awards is on any matatu.

On matatus, you find Wangari Maathai, Pio Gama Pinto, JM Kariuki, Tom Mboya and all the other people the government frustrated and killed. This is where they live. Not in libraries or museums or art and cultural centers-because Kenyan’s don’t go to those places.

The movies of the moment, songs we like, drinks-whiskeys, they type of women we like, the body parts of the women we like, the socialites who matter… all of it is here. Even our political lingo is documented on matatu walls- Moi Must go… Kieleweke…Tanga tanga … Kibaki Tosha… IEBC Form 34A & 34B… I’m not boarding.It is all there.

Forget the awards people get in boardrooms or the trophies that they pay for or state commendations that appear misplaced… You want to know if you have touched the lives of the public, look for your name in matatu graffiti. And yes, I bet Binyavanga Wainaina is in one of these city matatus. Here, the people award you, depending on your impact in their lives. Everything else is nonsense.

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Pure post! You speak the truth my brother!


If Vioja Mahakamani cast is not there, then ni kazibure

Acknowledge the source @TrumanCapote

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Anonymity ni kitu poa sana mnapigana ma sweep kwa thread ingine alafu mnapatana na the same person mnalambana rasa ju hamjuani

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