Engineering Graduate Working as Matatu Tout in Nairobi

  • TUK Engineering graduate Kioko Muriuki takes a selfie while in a car
    TUK Engineering graduate Kioko Muriuki takes a selfie while in a car.
  • As unemployment in Kenya continues to bite the youth population, Technical University of Kenya (TUK) graduate Kioko Musiuki found himself working as a matatu tout days after losing his formal job in Nairobi.

    Speaking exclusively to on Monday, October 4, Musiuki noted that his academic and employment journey has been rough since he left high school in 2011.

    He noted that he worked as a construction worker in 2012 to raise money for upkeep as well as save for some which he used as school fees when he enrolled at TUK to pursue a Degree in Engineering.

    After the Westgate incident, life in the construction industry became unbearable and so he opted to switch to the matatu industry where he joined as a tout.

    TUK engineering graduate Kioko Muriuki
    TUK engineering graduate Kioko Muriuki.

    "I started working in the Matatu industry in 2012. I left high school in 2011. I started working in construction in 2012 but life was tough after the Westgate attack. I later joined another site and raised money to get me through school. I joined in 2014 (at TUK). 

    "When I finished school, life was still tough and I returned to the industry. I joined Baba Dogo Matatu Sacco as a conductor which I have been working as a conductor till to date," he stated.

    At the beginning of 2020, he, however, secured an entry-level position at a local company located at Southern House in Nairobi where he pocketed a Ksh20,000 monthly salary.

    The pandemic, however, derailed his trajectory a month and a half later which forced the company he worked for to mandate its workforce to work from home.

    The company had a staff of four at the time with several other employees distributed across the city for various projects.

    He later lost the job alongside his colleagues and he returned back to Baba Dogo Sacco to make ends meet.

    "I made countless applications. I always applied for jobs in all opportunities I got. I made applications until I got to the elastic limit," he added.

    He notes that survival in the industry can be tough due to extreme fluctuations whose daily earnings can sink as lower as zero.

    He also noted that since the pandemic hit, the matatu sector has been adversely affected shrinking his earnings.

    "This job is just like any other business, it does not have a fixed income. There are days I left with no income in a day.

    "The job is very difficult because people are usually in different moods. It is like serving a community," he observed.

    The graduate is now looking for another job and says that his skills also include driving, masonry, architecture and surveying.

    By the end of 2020, over five million people lost their sources of income as a result of the pandemic. In 2021, 740,000 individuals have so far lost their jobs.

    File image of Ngong Matatus on Wednesday, February 10, 2021
    File image of Ngong Matatus on Wednesday, February 10, 2021