Different types of passengers you will encounter in Matatus

Siezi fungua dirisha, Daktari alisema ni mbaya na kifua

Different types of passengers you will encounter in Matatus

If you use public transport, then you know how hectic and challenging it can be.

You will step on people as you struggle to get into a matatu, stand in a long queue from here to Timbuktu and when you think you deserve some peace, Bam! The devil sends someone to annoy you all the way home, until you start considering how you will jump off the window rather than put up with such behavior.

Here are some of the different types of passengers you will find in a matatu;

The sleeper

Some people will get to their seat and immediately doze off. They will keep falling on your shoulder apologize, and repeat the same thing again.

Some will even snore and drool like they have some sort of disorder.

Mr Chairman/mheshimiwa

He’s usually an older guy who carries a notebook and a newspaper. He has a Kitambi the size of a nine months pregnancy and always carries a big phone.

He never sits anywhere else apart from the seat next to the driver where he can put his arm on the window. He is treated with a lot of respect as people call him mheshimiwa or Chairman.

The mother of all descendants

She will have four children tagging along, one on her back and three suitcases with her. Thing is, she won’t be able to pay their fare and if she decides to sit next to you, your ride will be ten times longer.

The hitter

I swear these people are the real definition of evil. Majority of them are usually ladies who have a bad attitude and a not so good-looking face. They will hit you with their handbags as they alight or board, and they won’t even apologize.

Peeping toms

Its like they are sent by the DCI to investigate you. They will keep checking your phone trying to read your messages or whatever is on the screen. If you are reading a book or a magazine, they will try to read it with you.

Angry ones ready to beat the tout

You don’t know who or what annoyed them but something small will trigger them off and all of a sudden they will be folding their sleeves ready to beat the hell out of the tout. They will be very abusive and vulgar; it will take some men’s effort to stop him.

Smelly passengers

Someone will step into a matatu smelling as If they have never seen water, soap or deodorant in their life. Most of these people usually have a smelly breath and instead of buying mint or keeping quiet they will be all over the place, trying to talk to everyone. Some will even remove their shoes.


The liar

They will get a phone call and you’ll immediately hear them say ‘naelekea Eldoret sahii’ yet they are on their way to Utawala.

The lost one

There will always be that one person in a matatu who doesn’t know where they are headed to. They will keep bothering the tout after every five minutes asking whether they have reached their destination.

Thinking the Tout has forgotten, they will turn to you and keep asking ‘niko karibu kufika stage ya shell? And before you answer, they will tell you to let them know when they are almost.

The toucher

If you are a woman then you know how irritating this type of people can be. Someone will try to touch your boob in an effort to open the window or touch your behind when you are trying to alight the matatu.

The talker

They will be busy on their phones and talk for the entire ride until you get to your destination. Most of the times they are usually very loud and have a terrible laughter that can scare you to death.

Some will try engaging you in endless stories that you are not interested in, and the more you avoid them, the more they talk.

The bragger

You will know how much money they are expecting, what deal they want to close and how much money they lost when doing a certain transaction. They will even go ahead and say that they had to board a matatu because the mechanic is still fixing their Subaru.

The lovey dovey couple

They will enter into the matatu hand in hand, keep calling each other sweet names and giggle like small babies. They make love look like the most beautiful thing on planet earth.

We all know what love is right?

The one who pretends to know you

People try too hard to start a conversation. Men, I’m talking to you. A guy will start a conversation like “you look familiar, I think I know you from somewhere”. Even when you adamantly state that you’ve never met before he will keep on insisting ‘aki I swear nimewahi kuona’.

Seriously? That’s your best shot?

The gentleman

They say the last gentleman was shot in 1954, but there are still a few left. Like one or two. They will let you to get in the matatu first, excuse you when it’s time to alight and even help you carry the luggage.

The ones who invade your personal space

Has someone ever sat too close to you that it made you very uncomfortable? Some people will want to fit in the seat perfectly despite having elephant-like bodies. When you try to push to the window, they’ll also move leaving you no option but to jump off the matatu.

The eater

There’s a cocktail of awful smells in the matatu, then someone rips a bag of chips or a hotdog? Now how does it smell?

These people never care how stuffy it is or high you jump on the corrugated roads. Some will keep buying everything from the hawkers; sweets, miwa, sausages…Can’t you wait until you get home?

The confused one

They will be undecided at which seat to take, keep fidgeting in their seat and keep losing their stuff.

The single and searching

Some people will see you and assume you were meant to be. And if you seat next to them, disaster. They will serve you with some funny lines trying to get your number. Some will even invite you to their place so that you can get to know each other better?

Dude, you don’t even know me? What if I love ladies?

The one playing loud music from their phone

There will be that guy playing loud music from their Tecno phone. It doesn’t matter whether the matatu has loud music or not. They will sit there without a care in the world, as the music blasts from their phone. No matter how many bad looks they get, they are never scared.

The one with an evil eye

Have you ever entered a matatu and someone gave you an evil look as if you wrecked their relationship or something? And yet you don’t even know them.

Hiyo ndiyo kamati ya roho chafu. These people can be very dangerous.

The drunkard

He will yell, be rude to other passengers and even abuse them. He will refuse to pay the bus fare and eventually he will be kicked out of the matatu.

The singer

They know all the lyrics to the songs that play on the radio. They will sing along to it with an ugly voice that no one deserves to hear it.

The Kuna baridi guy

Even if you give this person a thousand bob to open the window, they’ll still refuse stating that it’s too cold for the window to be opened and that wako na homa. They will even go ahead and say that the Doctor warned them to avoid the cold.

The emotional one

The moment you say hi, they’ll pour out their heart and start telling you about how broke they are and the issues they are going through at home.


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