The matatu industry is known to be a male-dominated field where no female can hack it. It’s known to be an industry of hardcore and cartels, but Tsarah has come out to disprove this notion. She lives by the adage ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’.
Well, Tsarah, a graffiti artist was recently interviewed by BBC and her story has gone viral. She has given hope to the many women out there who are shy of venturing into male-dominated fields.
Just like any other person, Tsarah had big dreams and she decided to follow her passion for graffiti and she doesn’t regret it.
The Kenyan matatus are always painted with photos of worlds legends such as Barrack Obama, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Pop culture and even drug dealers such as El Chapo Guzman and Pablo Escobar.
Artists try to make each matatu louder than the next with custom designs and if you look around the city streets, you’ll be confused on which one to vote as the best.
According to Tsarah, she faces many challenges on a daily basis especially because she’s a woman, however she manages to overcome them. Tsarah says her mother is very supportive and she encouraged her to follow her dreams.
“Some people were like No THIS JOB IS For men you can’t. But for my mum, she used to tell me that ‘You can make it, if only you believe in yourself.”
“The process of designing matatus is not an easy thing. First, you have to come up with the idea, then you implement it on the matatu. You have to be creative.”
Matatu culture business, which aims at promoting and preserving the buses and the culture around them, has created a lot of employment opportunities and more than 5000 people have been employed.
Many are happy with Tsarah’s job and a stakeholder, Brian Wanyama in the matatu culture describes her as a unique and gifted woman.
“Tsarah is an outstanding designer because I have never seen a woman who has done it, like the way she does it. And she has really brought some matatus that you never thought would be on the streets of Nairobi.”
Tsarah, who is currently studying graphic design and hopes to continue working in the matatu business, is convinced that one day there will be gender equality in the Matwana industry.
“I hope someday in the future, there will be more women in the matatu industry.”