Mutoko was right, men fuelling Covid

More men than women are dying of virus, and it's easy to see why

In Summary

• While women adhere to health protocols in matatus, men are dismissive

Passengers sanitise their hands before boarding a matatu on March 16
Passengers sanitise their hands before boarding a matatu on March 16

A few months ago, media personality Caroline Mutoko drew the ire of Kenyan men on social media when she described men as the weak link in the fight against Covid-19.

Her critics said Mutoko was out of line to call out men for their unhygienic practices that were the main reason why the virus has thus far ravaged more men than women.

After observing how men and women carry themselves in matatus, I am inclined to agree with her sentiments.


The Ministry of Health requires that each matatu should have a sanitiser on hand for passengers to sanitise their hands before embarking on their journey.

This requirement has been thrown out of the window as it’s everyone for him or herself.

Many women passengers are armed with hand sanitisers and are likelier than men to fish out a bottle from their handbags immediately after exchanging money with the conductor.

Media personality Caroline Mutoko
Media personality Caroline Mutoko

In her broadcast, Mutoko accused men of using face masks as a chin-guard. She is not far from the truth.

A quick glance inside any matatu and you will see many men covering their chins rather than the nose and mouth, from the conductor to the driver and the passengers.

Some of them do not even wear a mask at all and will only fish it out of their pockets when the matatu approaches a roadblock.

As the police relax their vigilance against matatus, many of them have reverted to violating the physical distancing requirement.


Many passengers in their desperation, especially during peak hours, have had no qualms squeezing beside one another if only to reach their destinations faster.

Considering that men are risk takers, it is common to hear them say, “Corona iliisha” as they ask you to move over so they can sit.

Mutoko was right, men fuelling Covid was first published on Sasa Digital under the title, 'How men fuel Covid in matatus'. To read more stories like it, go to