Skip to main content

Hurrying Matatus

For months, I have felt the urge to write about the many accidents we see on Kenyan roads, but like many times before, I will leave that for another pots. However, closely related, I shall be post about matatu's and the fact that they are always in a hurry. This results in accidents on several occasions.

Friday afternoon on Murang'a road was the scene of a vehicle partly submerged in a water hole resultant of an unfilled trench on the ongoing roadworks. This was the second vehicle that day in that same position, and was a matatu.

To make matters worse, it looked like the culprit driver drove right through into the water. Given it was a route 6 matatu, am figuring the driver may have mistaken the more than 1 metre deep trench to be one of the ponds that he encounters in Eastleigh.

My next ride home was similarly dramatic. The Citi Hoppa bus driver could not join Moi Avenue since he had parked ahead of the exit and the traffic policeman insisted that the guy could not reverse, which is illegal. Well, the driver decided to be clever enough and ignore the next turning and drive down Ronald Ngala street and later to Jogoo road. Now, if you have never been to Ronald Ngala street, its a crazy street to drive in. You drive painfully slowly through the street as you wait for empty buses and matatus to pick up passengers in the middle of the street. The maneuvre earned the driver a lot of abuse, especially from the female passengers. I do not know why women fancy calling people unprintable names in an argument. Meanwhile, the passengers at the front were wise to keep their mouths shut. It is unwise to pour abuse on someone who has the potential of ramming a bus-load into a truck at high speed while you are still aboard the bus.

Over some other matatu rides, I have watched a driver go round a vehicle that was joining the main road, a maneuver that took longer than it would have to wait for the vehicle. At some other time, I have sat calmly as our driver made a quick dash into a round about and a tipper truck made an emergency stopping a few meters away. Another occasion, I watched an amused 18 wheel truck driver watch as a matatu driver who had run the lights missed the container by inches.

And this brings me to the question. Why are matatu drivers always in a hurry to a point that defies common sense?

It seems that the rest of the drivers, other than those who just bought new vehicles, have surrendered to letting matatus bully them. Drivers nowadays will almost always give way to matatus, except for the dude that bought a new car or some odd lady. Both have been informed that they should not be bullied around, and as a result, you will often find them with parked cars on the road arguing over who should foot the bill for the scratches. Worse still, you will find that they have blocked some lane as they attempt to join a lane that has not moved for several minutes. "Do not join junction until exit is clear" usually sounds strange to them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Kenyan in Addis Ababa (Part 2) - The "University Girls"

This post continues from Part 1. 

The residents of Addis are friendly too. On my first day, I did meet a guard at a hotel, who later offered to show me around. Among the places he suggested, was this place where some “University girls” were holding some "dancing ceremony". He added, that Ethiopians being Orthodox Christians, were about to go on a sex, alcohol and meat fast, hence the importance of this “ceremony.”
I had some suspicion that I was being sold to sex, but my guide insisted that this was not a sex sale. Just dancing University girls. We did end up in some nondescript compound, and into a house. There was sort of a sitting area, with a radio system, low benches and tables, and grass sprinkled around the floor. Grass sprinkled around the floor is an Ethiopian tradition that indicates you are welcome to a place.

It was about 5 PM,  and the hosts seemed not to be expecting any visitors at this time. My guide disappeared down some corridor into the back to call them. In…

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinions of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives a free,  extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes,  happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voice does some narration in the background.
Beer is bitter! Now, it turns out beer is intentionally made bitter. See,  beer shares the same ingredients as bread. The major difference is that bread isn't fermented. Bread is sweet, so why isn't beer sweet?

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

Slut shaming: We all need to stop punishing women's sexuality

Do your parents know you have sex?
Do your friends know you have sex?

For most of us, the first answer would be no. Coming to the second question, the answer will likely vary, depending on your gender.

For a man, having sex is a source of pride and esteem. In fact, to our friends, the more people we have sex with, irrespective of how good or bad it is, it is something to toot your horn about.

When it comes to ladies - the situation is a little different. For some, your friends are okay with you having sex with a regular boyfriend, but will probably judge you for having sex with partners that aren’t your boyfriend.

To some ladies, sex outside marriage remains unthinkable to their parents, who consider such a thing taboo. The same parents, however, tend to be okay with their sons having sex, or even having a string of girlfriends. Such behaviour in male children is likely to be viewed as virile, but their female siblings are expected to remain "chaste".

The irony of being proud of a…

How Safaricom clients are being robbed by PRSPs through hidden charges

On Safaricom? Ever received an SMS asking you to subscribe to some service to listen to some mundane song, as if that stuff isn't available on the Internet for free?

If your answer to the above two questions is Yes, then you are probably paying your hard earned cash for that crap.


Remember that month you struggled to pay rent, or struggled to pay some medical bill, or school fee? Unlucky you, some chap somewhere is driving a Range Rover Sport 2013, which they have bought by charging you KSh. 30 every 3 or so days on your Safaricom line.

In a month, they'll charge you about Ksh. 300. They may be charging 1,000, or even 10,000 other fools like you, out of Safaricom's 18 million customers. 10,000 customers is just 0.06 percent, or 6 in every 10,000 Safaricom customers, and at KSh. 300 per month, that is just Ksh. 3 million every month.

The money is deducted quietly form your account, no text, nothing.


You will only ever notice the deductions if you log into Safaricom's Sel…