Offensive Matatu stickers

” Hatusemi wewe ni mnono, lakini ukikalia viti mbili utalipa.” I am sure most of us have come across this sticker in matatus. If you haven’t, then you probably haven’t used matatus in Kenya. I am not sure how fat people feel when they board these matatus. To me it sounds very insensitive and reckless.

Human beings were created by God (so we believe). And the scriptures proceed to state that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. So then, if am fat, that is God’s image. Same thing if am slim. 

But even without following that religious angle, can’t people just be? Why do we always need to dictate how other people should look like even when we are not helping them out achieve that? Oh, she is fat, oh sijui amekonda… Total crap. Not everyone wants a slender body like yours. Equally not everyone desires a chubby stature like yours. So, be and let others be. 

People have been bullied, insulted and shamed for the least of reasons. To me, people who shame others because of their bodies are just weak. They suffer from complexes I can’t explain and take pleasure in hurting others emotionally. Come to think of it, what does it benefit one after shaming someone because of his/her physical appearance? Does it make you better financially, physically and emotionally? Do you get a job promotion at your place of work if you have one or even get you a job if you never had one?

Personally, if people are comfortable with their bodies there is no single human who has the right to feel otherwise. What should dictate one’s choice of body is their preference and health. Anything else is pure sewage. If your doctor tells you to lose or add  a few kilos, that is the only person you should listen to. Ignore the rest.

I have seen young girls struggle with their weights not because of their choice but because of the choices imposed on them by strangers. I don’t know when the last sitting that declared slim as the ideal body for ladies was held and who were the participants. In all the men’s conferences I have attended including the latest one in Eldoret, we have always emphasized that all women are beautifully and wonderfully made. If your preference is slim, please pick a slim one and leave the rest. Kila mtu atapata size yake, just like bras. Same applies to men. We can’t all have the same tastes and preferences. Choose yours, let others choose theirs. Respect other people’s choices and they will as well respect yours.

There are notorious cyberbullies that have led people to commit suicide or contemplate it. Survivors of cyberbullying have stories to tell. It takes a bold spirit and emotional strength to overcome cyberbullying especially on body shaming. Never allow anyone, and in this case a stranger on Facebook or Twitter make you feel bad about yourself for nothing. He/ she doesn’t pay your rent, buy you food, clothe you, pay your bills…so don’t let them decide how you should look like. Ignore them. 

There is a lady who was asked by an illiterate and insensitive bodaboda guy, ” Madam Na si umenona”. The lady in question composed herself and asked him, ” Kuna nyama yako imepotea mahali na unashuku niko nayo?” Of course the foolish thing couldn’t make a comeback from such a tackle. Hiyo ndio inaitwa kuweka mtu ‘bahali’ yake. But in such cases, especially if you are not bold and strong enough, give it a deaf ear and glide away. Bodaboda guys are not people you should waste your precious time arguing with. Like fighting a pig in the mud. It has nothing to lose. It is fun(to the pig not you). They will drag you to their level and beat you with experience. Before you accuse me of blanket condemnation and generalization, let me state that we have few mature, respectful and civilized bodaboda operators. But those are just few, like the number of sufurias in a bachelor’s house. 


The fact that even prominent personalities have been body shamed and they nearly broke shows you how serious this is. None is spared. Actually, the more prominent you are the more chances people (haters) will find something to talk about your height, weight, nose, buttocks, breasts, hair, teeth, armpits… So trivial, unnecessary and personalized attacks whose main intention is to distract you from your focus and bring you down. Don’t fall for it. Don’t listen to them.

Only listen to your doctor

Love yourself, love your body because if you don’t, nobody will. If you are comfortable with your appearance, you will be confident and with that you will scale heights. Only listen to your doctor and not bodaboda operators and makangas. By the way nobody beats the two in insults, irresponsible, reckless, insensitive and foul language. And it is like they were born of the same mother, went to the same schools and graduated with a Bachelor of arts degree in foul language. First class honours. Nobody had fail.

PS: ” Urefu na ufupi ni maumbile, lakini mimba na unono ni bidii ya mtu.”(Matatu sticker).

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