Matatus, the minibus taxis used by so many Kenyans to navigate the capital Nairobi, often covered in graffiti and modified with extra-loud horns, are facing a crackdown from regulators. Matatus with loud music, reflective material,modified exhaust system , obscene graffiti and without a Sacco name are said to be flaunting the rules.
Matatus, are renowned for their graffiti-style artwork – but they also play a big part in the city’s music scene. The three million people who live in Nairobi use matatus to get around, but they are more than just buses, they are a cultural phenomenon. Their garish decorations and blaring music celebrate whatever is hip and current.
The taxis come in all colours, graffiti and with loud music, wireless Internet connection and small screens that play the latest music videos. Many young Kenyans earn a living working in the industry either as touts, drivers or artistes. Now, the country’s public transport regulator says the loud and obscene music and “disco” lights must go.
Here are some images of some grounded matatus: