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Matatu culture: Documenting Nairobi's 'museums on wheels'

By wochit 31 October 2016

Vibrant minibuses, known as matatus, fill the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, blaring music as they bounce and weave through traffic. Each matatu is louder than the next, complete with graffiti-style artwork, custom designs, flashy lights and on-board entertainment to pull the crowds. Cheap, convenient and sometimes a tad chaotic, matatus are the choice mode of transport for most Kenyans. But matatu culture may soon be under threat from government bans and alternative forms of public transport. One man is on a quest to document Nairobi's matatu culture before it disappears. Brian Wanyama believes these minibus taxis represent urban youth culture in Nairobi. Wanyama takes pride in documenting the artwork and process of building and "pimping" Nairobi's matatus. Just over a decade ago, the government banned matatu art and loud music from matatus for safety reasons. While the ban was lifted in 2015, Wanyama fears a similar ban could come back.