My encounter with viral TikToker Priscilla Waimani in a matatu
At around 9:00 am on January 31, I hopped on a bus bound for Nairobi. The atmosphere was serene, most passengers succumbing to the lull of the road, opting for a quiet nap.
I was immersed in my world, fingers dancing across my phone’s screen, flipping through social media posts, and exchanging messages with friends. The bus rhythmically stopped and started, ushering off passengers at their stops and welcoming new ones aboard, filling the voids they left behind.
When we got to Bypass, the calmness was pierced by a voice that cut through the hum of the engine and soft snores.
While stepping on board, a new passenger exclaimed in Kikuyu, “For those constantly questioning me about my car, is owning one really mandatory?” The voice, distinct and strikingly familiar, instantly drew my attention. Curiosity took over, prompting me to lift my gaze, eager to confirm the identity of the speaker.
It was Priscilla Wa Imani, a famous TikToker whose fame grew from whistling and shouting in public. As if to confirm her presence on the bus, she whistled and informed her Facebook Live audience that she had just boarded a Super Metro.
“They have welcomed me with shouts and praise. Priscilla Waimani inside Super Metro bus,” she said.
Passengers who had sat close to her started recording her as she continued to talk about her previous day’s activities.
“Yesterday, I was in parliament, and I was so happy. It was my first time though I didn’t take any photos. I, Priscilla wa Imani, today, I’m going to town for an errand, which I cannot share now, but when I get there, I will. Those asking me about Sakaja (Nairobi’s governor) should know he is just a friend and he has no business with my life,” she would be heard responding as her fans enquired about her.
At some point, she whistled when her fans on the Live asked her to. Around Alsops, Priscilla showed her fans the conductor who had allowed her to ride without paying fare, with many enquiring about his dating life.
“They are asking if you have someone,” she would be heard telling the conductor. As she read through the comments her fans were leaving on her Facebook Live; one commenter called her, ‘mathe.’
“Never call me mathe….better even call me Wangui,” she responded, “Even I can’t call my own mother mathe.”
When the bus arrived at the CBD bus stop called Koja, she ended the live session to pick up a call. At the bus station, as passengers alighted, she scrolled through her social media, playing different songs before choosing to record a TikTok video.
And that is the life of a TikTok personality who showcases all aspects of her life and It was interesting to witness it happening.