Adulting is weird if you ask me. I match with the masses alighting from the many cars stuck in heavy traffic and it dawns on me that I too has joined the hustle and bustle of the city life I grew up watching in the news on TV. I emerged from the matatu feeling as though I had walked into a new reality. The nice cool wind blows by, wipping away all the reggae i had consumed while in that matatu.
Six years ago,a kenyan rapper Tuji, released ” mat za ronga” that he remixed with Khaligraph Jones and a few more artists. A banger. We all vibed to the song with flashy heavy graphity buses and dancers creating an epic video for the song . A song that brouht into the spotlight the matwana culture in Kenya back in 2018. A banger about the exciting tales of being a passenger in those very cool mathrees.
I too never thought much into the song or the stories it was telling( the slang was also a bit too heavy, and the lyrics mostly sounded gibberish)until I came to experience it recently . Now, the experience came to me by chance. Most of my Iife ,had mostly plied routes who’s matatus were plain, too stuffed with people, worn out seates unevenly placed in the car leaving little to no legspace in some seats. Which is impractical considering the conventinal size of kenyans and mostly women, curvy and endowed😂😂😂😂😂😂. That too is a whole hilarious but peaceful or maybe boring experiences.
My moment of awareness, hit me when one of these matatus was literally almost flying down the steep and winding langata road , music blaring and the driver making smooth and effortless turns on that busy road. I was terrified at first . My heart was in my mouth the entire ride, the adrenaline making my palms sweat alot and the music serving the whole experience with excitement and pazzaz. I loved it.
These vehicles have personality. From the impeccable graphity inspired by different artists, comic characters , footballers, celebrities , or actors , the interior with the multicolored flashing LED lights, to the screens fitted insiden it playing music videos while the sound system booming with heavy base pierces your ears with tunes from snoopdog, 50 cent, tupac , sometimes , classic rnbs depending on the personality of the matatu or bus. How cool is that?The drivers will typically have a sense of style which they not only show with a grin on the face but also have in swag, a walk, a smile, a tone, scars some tattooes , grills on the teeth, a durag , absolutely cool kicks and a subtle confidence because I once heard one of them to a vibe killing passenger that it is a hobby, a lifestyle. You will meet even weirder folks inside other than others like you , a fan, but folks with odd but cool sunglasses, silver coated teeth accessories, tattooes or insane piercings. The conductors will be even more lit with a durag or some chains on the neck looking all gangster, three to four of them swinging from the doors of the cars 😂😂😂, crazy but also cool.
I have been dedicating time for this particular experience once in a while. I will have my fingers crossed that I end up in the high speeding 😅 music booming rides, because Fast and furious ain’t got no chance with these ones. The drivers are smooth, edgy, really fast, and have a mastery of pressing emergency breaks 😂😂😂😂. To survive these rides however, you have to vibe , stay alert because the thugs are always around in Nairobi, and most of all remain unbothered. A fight might randomly break out or the speed becomes too much and the breaking becomes abrupt and your life is always almost flashing before your eyes, stay unfazed 😂😂, an unspoken Kenyan philosophy, trust that driver 😂😂, ‘ stay taliban’. Life needs a bit of fun especially ater a day of grinding.I suppose as a response to the video on tiktok about romanticising public transport , lol, for us that like to live on the edge , the drama, the vibe and the thrill, experiencing the joy of their hobbies that pay, their hustle , this is how to do it. But again,if you ask me, these are the cool kids of this very unserious, croocked but funpacked country of ours, who bring the party to you 😂.