Today allow me to bring up an issue that is very Kenyan. Once in a while seating in my office I always hear a very heavy sound from a very strong base speakers. I eventually found out it was coming from the matatus that ply the Lights Reef route in Mombasa . A few days ago I was on Langata road Nairobi a 25 seaters Matatu was next to our car and the noise coming from that vehicle was simply unbearable.
If I am outside and the noise is that ear splitting and ear drum damaging , I pity the passengers who travel in this vehicles day in day out. Please do not jump at me and tell me that I am privileged and I do not ride in Matatus. Please go tell it to the birds. I only started driving in my adult life hence for many years I have been riding in matatus.
Let me Allow me to take you back to 1986 when I was attending Meru School, I recall taking one of those fast moving Peugeot 7 seater that used to ply Isiolo Meru route. Isiolo Meru route is normally 52KM. After the notorious Meru Subuiga turnoff the driver decided to drive like crazy and two of us made a lot of noise that he should slow down.
He told us if we could not stomach it we could as well get off. Two of us decided to disembark and wait for anther vehicle. Please note that I was a student and I had to pay double fare since I now had to take another vehicle. I thought my life was more important , I had a choice to make. The other gentleman who chose to stand up was a military guy and we started talking and we became friends until we finally got another vehicle that was being driven at a sensible speed by a sane driver.
In late 90’s I again was in a matatu heading to Kilifi from Mombasa , I literally found myself on my own since the young driver ( hardy 22) was zooming at 140KMH , No one else joined me to condemn him. This time it was at night but I did manage to force him to slow down but not after a big struggle and both the driver and the conductor called me names.
To cut along stay short why would Kenyans choose to remain silent when some half educated pea brained chap is literately choosing to kill them, Don’t you value your life?
Do you know the power of numbers? I am sure in that matatu you will not miss a driver. You can forcefully drive that vehicle to a police station . Please don’t tell me the police do not take any action, If that ws to happen the driver would be very careful next time because for them every hour counts. Trust me not all policemen are compromised.
For me I have since transitioned from riding in a matatus but I don’t think the madness has reduced in any way. I also have lots of friends who still ride in matatus and I care for them hence this piece.
Why would sensible Kenyans sit in a vehicle that is playing noise NOT music that is seriously affecting their health? Why would you ride in a matatu that is clearly going to kill you and many others?
Why would you allow a driver who does NOT value life to make you a widow or widower?
Why would you allow a crazy driver to make your children overnight orphans?
Folks change begins with you and I . The police are not riding in that death trap, you do.
This has nothing to do with “ Serikali Saidia” It all got to do with YOU yes YOU . A driver and a conductor cannot be stronger and bigger than all of you in that vehicle .
This is your life and almighty God expects you to treasure and take care of it. ACCIDENTS ARE CAUSED BY HUMANS and stupid humans for that matter. Please don’t blame it on God, Almighty God gave you a brain to think and a mouth to speak up.
For you to remain silent in that matatu then you are not any different. I hope you will now stand up and help make our roads safer, to reach your destination in one piece.
The choice is yours.
I wish you all a safe and pleasant weekend more so as we head to August holidays.