Favorite Matatu Decals

Most vehicles in Kenya, especially the matatu "taxis", have phenomenal decals, giving a glimpse into the owner's mind. Tangential thinking, one of my specialties. Thus, I, John, have been commissioned to digitally capture as many as possible for the McCropders. I shamelessly photograph other vehicles whenever possible. I rarely drive without myself or shotgun having a camera ready at all times, and matatu stops in large cities are a proverbial gold-mine. Of the top 50+ captured so far, here are just a few of our favorites to wet your appetite.

Driver and the "fare collector" enticing passengers with a handsome pose for the camera. We weren't sure if PACE MAKER is referring to what the matatu does or what is keeping it alive.

It's not an easy job. Right or left, gas or brake, EL-SHEDAI or RIHANNA?
Tough decisions must be made daily by matatu drivers the world over.

AMPHIBIAN ASSAULT: a plague of biblical proportions indeed.

STUNNING LIKE MY DADDY: Who knew a van could look so good?

The Small Lamb (right) takes on the much larger LAPTOP INTERNET on the Mombasa-Nairobi gauntlet.

CRUNK Aint DEAD: Crunk has a special place in our hearts as it was actually used by the McCropder boys. Anyone have any ideas outside of The Emperor's New Groove (Jay's favorite movie), who Crunk might be? This one if for you, Dykstra.

After leaving Crunk, we then boarded Baby Face with 30+ passengers (official counts all concur, 30+) for the last leg of our journey that day. A picture of Baby Face and Fader was a must.

OBAMA, NIKE swoosh. Yes we can. Just do it!

ISRAEL VIBRATION: Perhaps this is the feeling one gets when alignment gets neglected for too many years. Luckily, this guy has four spares on the roof when all four wheels go simultaneously. Interestingly, there is an ISRAEL VIBRATION JR., but he has been illusive to capture on film.

Speaking of JR's, here's TORMENTA 2. Appropriately named. This will be anyone's fate who dares book a ticket to ride. (Below the windshield says in silver, blood-dripping letters NO PHOTOGRAPHY). It had to be done.

The sheer energy and money that went into this paint job is mind boggling. She does look like a comfy ride though.

Many thanks to Scotch and Baby Face for their contributions to the collection. If you want more, let me know. This is just the tip of the burg, baby.

Yours Truly,


Anonymous said...

My favorites Matatu Decals around Kijabe are:

Immaculate Conception
God's Gift
A Big Picture of Jay-Z

Malin Friess

Jamie said...

John! You do post. I think this may be the first post I've seen from you since the tubing fiasco. I thought posting was only faders and scotch's job.

Gary Cymbaluk said...

My favourite matatu decals are the Scripture quotations. Totally contradicting the matatu driver's behaviours on the roads. It will be an interesting time in Nairobi when many of the matatus will be forces off the roads. BTW, I am a friend of Duc and Janet Tang's. As we prepare to head to Nairobi in January, we have been following your informative blog posts with great interest!

Anonymous said...

i don't think john or micah need crunk energy juice, so i'm guessing it's someone/thing else. i'm absolutely enveloped in suspense! what/who is it? :) yeah it is my second favorite movie still...i'msure you can't guess my fav. john, i can visualize you chasing after trucks and random people with a camera just like i was there...:P