3 annoying people you will find in any Kenyan matatu stage [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Kenyan bus termini are characteristic of untold melee, full of hustle and bustle.

File image of Kencom Matatu stage

With travelers heading to different destinations and Kenyans out to eke out a living by doing whatever their hands find, these stages thrive on a bedlam of activities.

Here are three characters who deem stages their forte with some traits that one may consider annoying:-

  • The Nagging Hawkers

You are seated in a matatu on a chilly evening, dreading the traffic this city always seems to be unable to manage and the matatu hasn't left the stage yet.

You are scrolling through social media keeping up with the latest goings-on and you are about to adjust the window when you break the cardinal rule; making eye contact with a hawker.

Taking it as a cue, a hawker is in no time, reciting the line “soda, maji, biscuit” right in your face.

You shake your head in refusal and he walks on, you hear him signaling to his fellow hawkers to come try their luck with you.

With you seated like a priest in a confession booth, the hawkers pass by your window bidding their wares and you only respond with a dejected “sio leo (not today)”.

Woe unto you though, when you turn down a hawker and she decides to rain on you with insults.

One of the hawkers will, however, win you over with their persuasiveness as he vouches for this random power bank which he claims can charge four phones simultaneously, can last for a week and offers it at a ridiculous price.

You smile as you hand over the cash thinking you have made a kill not knowing you’re one who’s been duped and killed literally.

  • The Conductors and 'Kamagiras'

Their persuasive nature beats that of a politician rallying for votes.

They are a pain in the neck especially when they fight for you like a pack of hungry wolves. Unlike most men, they don’t take 'No' for an answer.

They are full of expletives that may make one stifle in embarrassment. You would be strolling through the stage only to be ambushed by a 'kamagira' (conductor) who reeks of alcohol and in a microsecond, you would be in a matatu headed to Timbuktu.

Better still, you would be in a hurry to go somewhere, a Conductor beckons you to a matatu.

He claims it is full, you Peer in and indeed you confirm it’s full ready to go. You board only to be meet by the rude shock that almost three quarters of the passengers were just warming the seats and to fool the incoming.

  • The “Carriers”

They wield hand carts or wheelbarrows. You alight a matatu and out of thin air they appear raring to lighten your burdens like low budget Saviors.

They are so callous in the way they snatch your loads. They tend to move at a high-speed leaving you lagging behind huffing and puffing to catch up with them.

Some of them though, while trying to keep up with their pace might disappear with your things into the sea of humanity that is usually at the stage.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

Thomas is a creative writer with a flair for weaving up witty listicles and articles. He has carved a niche in writing Lifestyle, Entertainment, Human Interest and Fashion Pieces over the last two years. I am also a student of Media And Journalism at Moi University.

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