- Kenya Facts
OTC is indeed one of the famous streets in Nairobi as the matatu bus stop has often been used as a reference point for city residents who retrace their steps while going about their businesses in the city.
However, little is known of the full meaning of the abbreviation OTC, the story behind its name and how the infamous street got its name.
More often than not, people believed that it was the short form of the phrase Onyango Twende Choo - a phrase that when loosely translated depicts a person asking a friend to accompany them to the toilet (Onyango, let's go to the toilet).
Unknown to many, OTC is actually an abbreviation of a bus brand named Oversees Trading Company (OTC) - a London-based company that imported 13 buses to Kenya in 1934.A building under construction in OTC, along Ronald Ngala street in Nairobi.Kameme FM
After venturing into the Matatu sector in Kenya, the company enlisted 12 buses to ply various routes within the country. In some instances, they also ferried Kenyans to long-distance areas such as Kampala.
While the trains were preferred for long-distance journeys at the time, the buses found favour among Kenyans who were interested in experiencing a ride in a bus.
With time, OTC buses became a household name in the East African Community (EAC) region and expanded their services to offer courier services to transport various goods outside the city.
Following its establishment in Kenya, the London-based company put up a stage along Ronald Ngala street - a spot that quickly grew in popularity and travellers associated it with the OTC brand name. It was, soon after, widely known as the OTC Bus Stage.
With other investors looking at the growth of OTC, there were other investments in the transport sector including the Tom Mboya Bus Company which was founded by former Labour Minister Tom Mboya.
OTC buses later transformed into the Kenya Bus Service (KBS) which also became popular among Kenyans and managed a fleet of 300 buses. KBS eventually collapsed around the 199Os and sold its fleet to other entities.
Despite the bus company changing its name, the stage has maintained its name to date.
The area has, however, transformed over the years with various infrastructural development including the incomplete storey building which made headlines on Wednesday, February 1 after it was claimed that its construction was complete and the green safety net removed.
Those reports turned out to be fake (as Kenyans.co.ke found out here). The building which became a landmark in the last 10 years is in its final stages.An image of the Kenya Bus Express plying the Nairobi roadHistoryKe
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