Kenya’s capital Nairobi, a city that is rapidly growing in the Eastern Africa region, with a unique identity cemented in its public transport sector. With a population of slightly over 4 million people, movement from one part of Nairobi to another is facilitated by many buses popularly known as Matatus.
Over time, the Matatu industry has evolved from a simple mode of transport into a flashy and controversial culture. Matatu culture is about completion on which ride will be the best. The Matatu’s bear signature displays of graffiti varying from movie titles and characters, religion, or even local and international celebrities among other art representations. Their interiors are fitted with sophisticated sound systems and boom music for loyal clients as they enjoy the cool ride to their destinations.
One may be intrigued as to why do industry players go to the extent of pimping these matatus which are seemingly just meant for public transport. It’s simply because of the target market which is a specific age group. Brian Wanyama is the founder of Matwana Matatu Culture, an organization that is tasked with documenting new trends in the Matatu industry and also with the promotion of its culture beyond Kenya. Matatu Culture has gained international recognition with Forbes recommending that riding in a matatu is one of the best experiences that one should not miss when they visit Nairobi.
With Matatu culture being defined by Pop Culture Trends, players in the industry believe that the evolution of the Matatu culture is still ongoing and the best is yet to be seen.