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Matatu in Kenya

The most popular form of public transport in Kenya is the Matatu, which has become a national icon and a large part of Kenyan modern culture. A matatu is a minibus, usually a Nissan (the name originates from the original 30 cent fare, “Matongolo Matatu”).

Matatus operate on set routes, and collect as many passengers as possible both from the outset and along the way.

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Matatus normally have a crew of two, a driver and a ‘tout’ who tries to encourage as many passengers as possible to board, and collects their fares, using an impressive cash handling and management system in which notes of different denominations are wedged between seperate fingers.

The vehicles are also often spectacularly painted with designs based on Western album covers and Sports logos.