Five times matatu crews displayed unexpected compassion

Stephen Kariuki and his conductor took an ailing passenger to hospital

By William Osoro(@iamosoro)

While the matatu industry is infamous for the reckless abandon by not only the crews but also passengers, there are a few shining lights that depict how the industry could be.

On Monday, SDE ran an exclusive story of a KBS matatu crew who took it upon themselves to ferry a sick passenger to Kenyatta National Hospital.

According to Stephen Kariuki, the driver of the bus KBR 855B, the conductor alighted and asked traffic officers for right of way after the passenger’s condition got worse.

“The conductor walked towards the traffic police officers at the Nyayo round-about to request right of way. At first the traffic police were reluctant but the conductor persisted and they gave in,” he stated.

In light of yesterday’s incident, we look at instances where matatu crews touched Kenyans’ hearts with acts of compassion.

1. Conductor returns passenger’s Sh30,000

Daniel Mwaura and his wife

On 20 April, a matatu conductor operating along the Gachie- City Centre route earned praise from Kenyans after returning a passenger’s money.

Daniel Mwaura returned the Sh30,000 after a passenger forgot his wallet in the matatu.

“My first thought was that the owner must be devastated so I informed my employer and deposited the wallet at the office,” Mwaura stated.

He later learned that the money was meant to settle the hospital bill for the passenger’s sick child.

2. Sacco grounds fleet, holds prayers

Rembo Shuttle Sacco crew during prayers

In 2017, Rembo Shuttle Sacco which plies the Kitengela route surprised residents when they ground their entire matatu fleet and organized a prayer and thanksgiving day.

The Sacco, which has around 130 matatus and over 300 employees prayed for the crew and the entire fleet, casting out evil spirits said to be behind a spate of accidents.

“Of late, there have been strange things happening that are beyond our comprehension and that is why we sought divine intervention,” Stephen Okerio, the chairman of Rembo Sacco told The Nairobian.

3. Drivers, conductors kneel in prayer

Photos of matatu drivers and conductors on their knees in prayer took the internet by storm in 2017.

The men and women at Nanyuki bus terminus apparently take part in this morning ritual every day before embarking on their daily duties.

4. Crew helps woman deliver

George Kariuki(right) and Richard

A few weeks earlier on April 6, the driver and conductor of a Githurai matatu made headlines after helping a passenger, Philomena Mbithi, deliver her baby.

George Kariuki, and his conductor, Richard helped deliver baby Raymond Kyalo after his mother’s waters broke aboard the matatu.

The baby boy was delivered at the entrance of the bus, right outside Neema Hospital, Thika Road.

“When I turned to look around I saw the baby’s head. I was scared but God gave me strength…  I stretched out my hands and held the baby which was almost falling down,” Kariuki told a local publication.

5. Modern Coast bus crew help woman deliver

The Modern Coast bus crew on 26th August 2017 assisted a lady who was in labour pains deliver a baby safely.

The mother and baby were taken to Makindu Hospital and the medical bill catered for by the bus company.

A Modern Coast bus

“One of the passenger went to labour and was successfully assisted to safe delivery. Baby Modern and Mother are fine at Makindu Hospital. Hospital bill catered for by Modern Coast while on follow up. Have a blessed Sunday,” the bus company posted on Facebook.

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