Around 1960,Africa experienced a revolution. The main agenda was to win independence from the Europeans who were colonizing them. With Ghana having won independence some 3 years earlier, most countries engaged a no surrender fight, using it as their model. The Europeans somehow gave way and most countries gained their much earned Independence.
Fast forward to June 2015, and a route associated with 1960 is busy laying down the markers for a change. That matatu fans over the years have come up with jibes aimed at Kayole is no secret.
Kayole has for long been known as the lorry nation. Their continuous use of the Mitsubishi FH model as their preferred mode of transport simply never went right with other Nairobi residents. Not that the FH is a bad truck. In fact it ranks as the best lorry in the segment. But while Isuzu were able to to fit a bus body on the FRR chassis, little is known on whether Mitsubishi ever tried it. With this, those interested in buying the FH for passenger business did settle for style where the body was separate from the front cabin. Theories have been put forward trying to explain this. It has been argued that putting a bus shape on the FH chassis would reduce the seating capacity from 46 to around 38. This is a very big difference in matatu business where the more the number of passengers accommodated the better. Add the fact the FRR handles 51 passengers and you realize they would struggle to make ideal profits.
Why don’t they go for the FRR then? It has not been known why though as you expect, different arguments have come up though I won`t delve into them. It is at this point we highlight an important fact. The Kayole people never saw it as a problem despite almost everyone else despising them. The residents have adored them and as a result they happen to be the most vocal in matatu based social media pages.
This previous month though, a different phenomenon has taken place. First was news that the first Isuzu had started plying the route. This monumental feat was well received with much zeal as it depicted a change. Not that it would be hailed by other routes. While they were did acknowledge the feat, debate swiftly shifted to who had a greater influence for enacting the change. Umoja, their neighbors, proudly took that title just like a man will take pride for being the first to take a lady round the town.
One is never enough, it has been said. Within the month, Balloteli graced the route. Sporting a theme of the aforementioned player, it was a little disappointment that it did not have him in his current Liverpool colors. Maybe it was a well thought strategy considering the guy is virtually a dormant player for Liverpool. Lady Gaga (the first Isuzu) has since shifted base to Rongai. Despite this setback, a blueprint has been formed and now it seems Isuzu will be taking over 19/60 route. If rumors are anything to go by, a Choda fabricated NQR is on its way there. Choda has arguably established itself as the best fabricator and most of their vehicles happen to be the best. If indeed the rumors turn out to be true, then Isuzu will have taken a major step in offering competition in Kayole.
The return of the Maybach, the undisputed king of Kayole, couldn’t go unnoticed. Stocking seven screens, muffler, remodeled light house among many other minute things like tint and stylish side mirrors,none compares to it in Kayole. Diwali graced the route around the same time. And just like many other before it, it was swiftly declared not up to the challenge. Becoming the king of a route does not mean you are the best in Kenya. So when it became known that Maybach has a personalized Kenya 1 plate, the arguments started immediately. As expected, no winner can be found in such a debate. The best I can do is stay neutral and wait for Nganya awards which will adjudicate the issue. In the meantime, a detailed review of Maybach is on its way.