German Machine: Matatu With Hitler Graffiti Spotted in Nairobi

January 10, 2024

A matatu with curious graffiti was earlier this week spotted in Westlands, Nairobi.

The matatu culture in Nairobi involves painting public service vehicles with images and graffiti of idols, celebrities, football clubs, football stars and more.

While many of these decorations are unproblematic, one curious case of a matatu with graffiti celebrating Nazi Germany, and its dictator Adolf Hitler has raised questions.

The said matatu, KCC 613Y, was photographed by one Kenyan on X on Monday, showing the entire back side of the vehicle covered with a portrait of the World War 2 instigator. The sides of the vehicle were also covered with other Nazi symbols, including the Swastika.

According to the witness, who goes by the Twitter name Arnold Lakita, the crew of the matatu was arrested by traffic cops, but it remains unclear whether that arrest had anything to do with their graffiti.

Posting on X, he wrote, “Westlands…Is wildin’! This, is a matatu emblazoned with the ‘Fuehrer’s’ visage, complete with swastikas…As I was taking the pics, the crew had already been arrested by law enforcement and traffic cops, your guess is as good as mine as to why they were busted!”

While some countries, including Germany, have explicit laws against public display of Nazi hate symbols, it’s unlikely the same can be applied using Kenya’s hate speech laws.

Commenting on the post, more Kenyans shared images of the supposed matatu, which shows that the top of the car is even more brazen with a massive swastika.

Yet another person shared another photo of a boda boda celebrating the same dictator.

Do you think there is a rise in Kenyans embracing foreign authoritarians and authoritarianism in general?

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