This is the kind of transport that is used by all people in Nairobi; it is affordable and accessible to everyone. The name Matatu originated from the Kiswahili name “Tatu” meaning “three” each row has three seats. Other people say that the name was first mentioned by the taxi people who asked clients to pay three KSH (Kenyan Shillings) each.
In Kenya and neighbouring nations, matatu (or matatus) are privately owned minibuses, although pick-up trucks and estate cars were in the past pressed into service as these East African share taxis. Often decorated, many matatu feature portraits of the famous or slogans and sayings. Likewise, the music they play is also aimed at quickly attracting riders.
by Kenyan International Transport Federation.
These minibuses ply set routes, run from termini, and are used for both inter- and intra-city travel. In addition to a driver, Matatu may be staffed by a conductor.
As of 1999, they were the only form of public transport available in Nairobi, Kenya, although in 2006 and 2008 this was no longer the case. Kampala, Uganda, may only be serviced by minibuses as of 2008. As of 2014, there are more than 20,000 individual matatu in Kenya. In 1993, there may have been double that number
The name may also be used in parts of Nigeria.