So I got on board this matatu pimp popularly known to the Nairobis as nganya Where matrois Saturday afternoon at the CBD, heading to my friend’s house for a weekend get together.
These vibrant matatus, one might say full of life, are painted to communicate a certain theme. The loudest-playing matatu has the best graffiti-style artwork, custom designs, flashy lights, free Wi-Fi, and onboard entertainment attracting more commuters.
In fact, sometimes you’ll find commuters lining up and waiting for a certain PSV while others are available and offer cheaper fares. These loyal passengers will always be waiting for this matatu whose prices are high. Even if it rains.
It is very rare to see hawkers and pastors in these matatus due to the loud music and constant entertainment. Commuters always yearn to stick to the videos, to watch songs that the film commission has tried to ban year after year.
So, seeing a pastor leaping into the matatu hanging on to his bible was a real scene not only for me but for all the other commuters.
“Today we celebrate our customers. Therefore, we have reduced the tariffs. We also value the community and we will allow the pastors and hawkers to do their jobs, ”said the reel with dreadlocks.
There were a few whispers here and there before the chubby lady next to me got up and lamented.
“We want music. Give us some music. We can listen to the preacher on Sunday, ”she shouted, eliciting a mixed reaction from commuters. Some made fun of her and others praised her for her courage.
But the reel interrupted him and asked him to sit down or come out. She leaned back in the seat and muttered a few words before putting on her headphones and looking at her phone.
Matatus traffic along Waiyaki Way in Nairobi
At that point, my phone rang. It was my mother. She was calling to complain that she the tokens were exhausted and she couldn’t watch TV. As I almost answered, the preacher cut me short.
“Even you, the young man who talks on the phone. Please put down your gadget and take off your cap so that we can pray. It is always good to be humble during prayers, ”he urged.
“Mom, I’ll call you later,” I said hurriedly, hanging up. The chubby lady looked at me with hard eyes, perhaps wondering why I was complying with a pastor’s request.
The preacher prayed and read a few verses, but apparently hit back at some commuters who initially opposed his mission.
“Even those who were angry, we pray that you will touch them to bless your work. May they give so that we can preach in other places, ”he prayed.
That’s when this peddler jumped to the terminus along Thika Road. The matatu was caught in a roar of traffic and slowly made its way through.
A few commuters in the back stood up to protest again. The pastor intervened. I guess he was worried that the passengers might not make offerings as he requested.
But I was wrong. He defended the peddler and actually offered to help him sell the items. His marketing skills were on a different level.
His sense of humor and his in-depth knowledge of current affairs and marketing caught everyone’s attention.
“This book has been read by Isaac Newton and even by your favorite school principal. It actually changed the game for the competency-based curriculum (CBC). It goes to 2000 Ksh but today, customer day, we will sell it at… ”, he looked at the peddler who told him the amount…“ 100 Ksh for your children.
“This chewing gum lasts 30 minutes. Extraordinary. No need to add sugar or eat 10 in a minute. 4 of them at Ksh20, ”he added, then chose a small car. “This is addressed to the future deputy, Mr. President, director general, doctor and even pastors.
“The car is armored, has a top speed of 250 km / h, turbo, cruise control and insurance. Oh my! Imagine a Mr. President leading him through the mud. Your house will be his car wash. Get one for 200 Ksh, ”he added as he and the peddler were selling shoulder to shoulder.
The mood at PSV had changed and it only took a few commuters to start buying before others joined in.
“As you buy, don’t forget to donate. Give your offering. Bless the hands and feet that teach the word, ”the deacon added in passing.
I took some money and bought a soft drink from the peddler and gave the balance to the preacher who slipped into the empty seat next to me when the lady was already down.
“You can now continue your phone conversation,” he said as we both burst out laughing.
“Yes, you have stimulated my mind. I had to buy tokens for my mother. Now see how you convinced me to buy a soft drink. I have no more money on hand except the money in my bank account.
“Don’t worry my brother. It will be provided to you. But you can still buy tokens. The bank… Which bank is it? He asked.
A section of the Thika Highway at Survey Underpass
“Cooperative bank,” I answered.
“Ahh, I heard of a product known as Cooperative online banking services where you can pay your bills. In this life, I meet a lot of people and I learn a lot of things. Check that out, ”he replied and walked away to continue his mission.
By this time, the PSV had returned to normal with a loud reverberation of local music. I had the impression that the side windows were going to shatter.
Anyway, I checked the Cooperative website and found out that indeed, you cannot only pay for the items through Cooperative online banking services but also all other bills ranging from electricity tokens, water, the purchase of credit and other expenses.
You can access Co-op’s online banking platform using your laptop, tablet or other internet-enabled devices and pay all your bills right from your Cooperative bank account!
All you have to do is register for the Co-op Online service by clicking on https://onlinebanking.co-opbank.co.ke, select Personal Internet banking and click on existing customers to register.
For new users, registration is instant and free. All you need is your national ID card and one of your Automatic teller machine of the cooperative bank cards. I activated, paid tokens for my mom and left her a text message.
As I looked up to see if I was about to come down, I saw the preacher looking at me and we both smiled. He knew I had cracked him.
the nganya sped up after he got off.