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Matatu : a history of popular transportation in Nairobi Preview this item
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Matatu : a history of popular transportation in Nairobi

Author: Kenda Mutongi
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Drive the streets of Nairobi and you are sure to see many matatus colorful minibuses that transport huge numbers of people around the city. Once ramshackle affairs held together with duct tape and wire, matatus today are name-brand vehicles maxed out with aftermarket detailing. They can be stately black or come in extravagant colors, sporting names, slogans, or entire tableaus, with airbrushed portraits of everyone  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Kenda Mutongi
ISBN: 9780226130866 ) 022613086X ((cloth ; alk. paper)) 9780226471396 ((pbk. ; alk. paper)) 022647139X ((pbk. ; alk. paper)
OCLC Number: 1015667674
Description: 350 s. : ill.
Contents: Introduction: Matatu --
The only way to get there was on foot --
Moving people, building the nation, 1960-73 --
It is a difficult system to beat --
We are making a living by constitutional means --
Deregulation, 1973-84 --
Kenyatta's decree, 1973 --
Jump in, squeeze, jump out ... quickly! --
Government regulation, 1984-88 --
The Matatu bill of 1984 --
Only those who are afraid use force --
Organized crime? 1988-2014 --
Kanu youth wingers --
Mungiki: fighting a phantom? --
Generation matatu, politics, and popular culture, 1990-2014 --
Music, politics, and profit --
"Pimp" my ride --
Self-regulation, 2003-14 --
The michuki rules --
Conclusion: making it in Nairobi
Responsibility: Kenda Mutongi

Abstract:

Drive the streets of Nairobi and you are sure to see many matatus colorful minibuses that transport huge numbers of people around the city. Once ramshackle affairs held together with duct tape and wire, matatus today are name-brand vehicles maxed out with aftermarket detailing. They can be stately black or come in extravagant colors, sporting names, slogans, or entire tableaus, with airbrushed portraits of everyone from Kanye West to Barack Obama, of athletes, movie stars, or the most famous face of all: Jesus Christ. In this richly interdisciplinary book, Kenda Mutongi explores the history of the matatu from the 1960s to the present. As Mutongi shows, matatus offer a window onto many socioeconomic and political facets of late-twentieth-century Africa. In their diversity of idiosyncratic designs they express multiple and divergent aspects of Kenyan life including rapid urbanization, organized crime, entrepreneurship, social insecurity, the transition to democracy, chaos and congestion, popular culture, and many others at once embodying both Kenya's staggering social problems and the bright promises of its future. Offering a shining model of interdisciplinary analysis, Mutongi mixes historical, ethnographic, literary, linguistic, and economic approaches to tell the story of the matatu as a powerful expression of the entrepreneurial aesthetics of the postcolonial world

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"Mutongi has written a lively, meticulously researched history of the matatu industry in Nairobi. Incorporating an array of ethnographic, documentary and archival sources, Mutongi vividly illustrates Read more...

 
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