Matatus – Thrilling rides and rolling artforms

Matatus are little minibuses that provide an exciting mode of transportation in Kenya.

Matatu (Photo: Kiasman World)
Matatu (Photo: Kiasman World)

Thrilling is a term used to describe the feeling you get when the matatu is traveling WAY above the speed limit and zipping around corners on two wheels  giving one the feeling of flying. Okay, maybe thrilling is an inaccurate description, but it certainly sounds interesting when retelling the story.

Often you might get the feeling that the driver might be trying to re-create a scene from one of those racing video games that inspires nail-biting and fear in customers.

Reggae tones - Photo: In His Perspective
Reggae tones – Photo: In His Perspective

But there is another side to matatus.  The opportunity to hear music that hasn’t hit the airwaves yet, and inspiring art that showcases true talent and ingenuity.

Seasoned riders don’t bat an eyelid as they go around the corners.  They have survived too many times and are now conditioned to sit with a relaxed smile and listen to the music blaring from the speakers.  Some even take the opportunity to grab a little bit of shuteye before they reach their destination.

Ball4Real (Photo: African Colors)
Ball4Real (Photo: African Colors)

Although these are done predominantly to lure passengers, they are beautiful pieces of artwork if you take the time to enjoy them.  Here are a few samples of what is available on the street.

There are some really beautiful pictures on  the MATATU Facebook page.  Join them and celebrate the art.

Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook and Twitter. We highlight lots of great deals on our website and Foursquare, so don’t forget to check-in each time you visit us, to unlock additional specials.


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