WHAT MESSAGE COMES OUT OF THE GRAFFITI ON SOME MATATUS?
Graffiti is a powerful mode of communication, especially on religious matters. As much as the rationale behind allowing the graffiti culture back on our psv vehicles is based on the noble idea of creating jobs for the few youth who are in the fine art industry, most people can agree with me that this culture promotes lawlessness and recklessness, not only in our “matatu” industry, but even in the larger society.
Most of the graffiti (images and words) are vulgar and utterly devilish, largely exalting American idols. As a result, some of the matatus become moving bill-boards of dangerous coded messages that glorify guns, drug-dealing and rebellion! As a matter of fact, the youth fall in love with, not only the artistic graffiti, but the messages too. Who will vet the kind of graffiti that will be allowed to appear on matatus? And when it comes to the music and the ambiance in them, Sometimes foreigners travelling in our “matatus” can be forgiven if they think that we are all crazy since some of these monsters on our roads are literally “night clubs on the wheels,” as one observer put it.
The culture of graffiti pimped-matatus creates cult-like tendencies in our teenage boys and girls, with majority of them becoming faithfuls of the most pimped-up “mathrees”; they can wait, at bus termini for hours, so long as they board and enjoy a ride in these idols of their choice. The music that blasts from the excessively powerful speakers fitted in such matatus is enough to give a pregnant woman a miscarriage or blow open any normal ear-drums!
So what sense does it make to create a few jobs but lose a whole generation? Will it be a surprise if we see more youths stripping women in matatus?
Honourable Michuki, God rest his soul in eternal peace, must must have stirred in his grave when, with only one whimsical statement, president Uhuru rubbished the gains that the old man painstakingly achieved, in his bid to bring sanity back on our roads. .