Description : 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 extravagantly colored, sporting names, slogans, or entire tableaus, with airbrushed portraits of everyone from Kanye West to Barack Obama. 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 the socioeconomic and political conditions of late-twentieth-century Africa. In their diversity of idiosyncratic designs, they reflect multiple and divergent aspects of Kenyan life—including, for example, rapid urbanization, organized crime, entrepreneurship, social insecurity, the transition to democracy, and popular culture—at once embodying Kenya’s staggering social problems as well as 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 and explore the entrepreneurial aesthetics of the postcolonial world.
Description : This is an enhanced ebook with a read-along function. Kioko had been watching the matatus come and go for as long as he could remember. But today, for his fifth birthday, he climbs aboard one with his grandfather. As the matatu pulls away from the market, the village dogs chase after them. When Kioko asks his grandfather why the dogs always bark and chase after matatus, his grandfather tells him an entertaining tale about a dog, a goat and a sheep. Set in East Africa, The Matatu is a colorful story filled with many unexpected turns and twists along the way.
Description : Small and micro enterprises have been an important theme in development thinking since 1950s, yet for a variety of reasons East African governments and administrations have been sceptical about their role in their own countries' development. While many constraints have been lifted by the more liberal policies of the 1990s, many micro entrepreneurs and their labourers, primarily women, are still fighting for an enlarged social space. The papers in this book describe these strategies of negotiation between rural micro enterprises and the new liberalised rural economy.
Description : Transport discourse often concentrates on what is missing from transport policy and practice in developing countries vis-à-vis high-income countries rather than articulating local creativity in responding to transport needs as revealed in informal public transport modes such as matatu, motorcycle, bicycle and animal transport. The matatu service, provided by privately-owned transport carriers, can be seen as a mirror of the life of Kenya, revealing how indigenous African entrepreneurship and capitalism straddles various economic, political and social systems. This book offers a phenomenological and situated analysis of the matatu entrepreneurship in the political economy of Kenya and its embeddedness in society.
Description : Studies of the media in Africa, incorporating both African and international perspectives, are few. The thirty papers collected here were presented at a seminar organised and hosted by the Kenya-based Twaweza Communications and the International African Institute in Nairobi in 2004. They demonstrate how media outlets are used to perpetuate, question or modify the unequal power relations between the North and the South. Focusing on east Africa, the papers include discussions of the construction of old and new social entities, as defined by class, gender, ethnicity, political and economic differences, wealth, poverty, cultural behaviour, language and religion. The authors illustrate how there is increasing control by local people of traditional and modern forms of media. Globalization is being countered by local responses, within the context of social and cultural identities. Essentially, the book describes the tensions between the global and the local, tensions not often discussed in media studies, thus pioneering new debates.
Description : They must travel abroad by hook or by crook; they bribe and corrupt and swim and stow and prostitute and forge but travel they must. These are illegal immigrants who escape frustration, war, hunger, poverty...They are prisoners in a cycle of mediocrity perpetuated by governments that don't perform. The drudgery at home is too much to bear. Lured by prospects of luxury and abundance only seen in movies, they land in Europe, America and elsewhere by whatever means
Description : Armed robbery is nothing new in South Africa. But when a pair of clever and squeaky-sounding criminals go on a looting spree that rocks several small towns in the Eastern Cape, Detective Inspector Thabisa Tswane from The Eagles, the Special Violent Crimes Unit is called to work the case. There's only one problem, one of the most important witnesses in the case is her estranged grandfather, Chief Solenkosi, who ordered her violent expulsion from the village over ten years ago. In another world of lunches at the Michelangelo, private game lodges and platinum cards, the rich and slick Ollis Sando smoothes his way through cocktail parties and networking meetings. He is rumoured to be in line for the presidency in the upcoming elections. But he has a dirty past, something to hide and a hostage to hide it for him. In Now I See You Thabisa's traditional and professional skills will be pushed to the limit. She will have to learn the difference between looking and seeing. And in stirring twists of fate, we'll see that past and present blur, everything is interconnected and nothing can be assumed.
Description : Research on cities worldwide still takes its cue from cities in Europe and the US, which are seen as the standard model. However, cities in the global South are undergoing a much more rapid transformation, including multiple interlinked transitions, with Africa featuring the highest urbanization rates world-wide. Scholars therefore call for a new approach to urban studies which examines cities from a more global comparative perspective. This book discusses the new approach, which pays added attention to the role that societal creativity plays in processes of urbanization, instead of concentrating exclusively on expert-driven planning and intervention. Especially in fast-growing cities with weaker institutional capacity for interventions, the interplay between intervention and invention, between expert and societal agency, becomes more tangible and all the more significant. (Series: Swiss African Studies / Schweizerische Afrikastudien / Etudes africaines suisses - Vol. 10)