Italian girl Lucia Alessandra became the talk of the city when she declared her undying love for souped-up matatus dubbed nganya. She went against the grain of living large in Karen where her kin reside and decided to be a conductor of matatus operating the Kitengela route sometime back in 2016. But for several months now, Lucia has been missing her daily job of mingling with passengers. She has been unwell and off the road fas she seeks treatment.
Her medical appeal has been making rounds out platforms associated with matatus in the city, reaching out for assistance.
“It is true that I have been away from the matatus. I fell sick and taken to hospital, I was told that I have some gallstones in the gallbladder,” she told The Nairobian.
Even though she has been feeling unwell since 2017, Lucia said she never imagined that this will confine her at home.
“I was informed when I was young but didn’t take any step because the gallstones were not bothering me then. At the moment, the doctors have recommended that I undergo a surgery to remove them,” she said.
Gallstones are pieces of solid material that form in the gallbladder. People who experience symptoms usually require gallbladder removal surgery. The surgery is estimated to cost her about Sh400,000, including the aftercare and medicine, says Lucia, explaining why she put out the appeal for help. In a previous interview with The Nairobian, Lucia who was born and bred in Runda, said her decision to remain a makanga for life has left many, her family and friends included, scratching their heads.
“I got into the industry before I was 18, but only became a licensed conductor early this year,” says Lucia, who speaks fluent Swahili and sheng.
“I started by visiting matatu terminus just to observe what happens. With time, I fell in love with noise and how conductors and touts work. In fact, I’ve known some of them for more than five years,” she explains.
Lucia says she grew up in the city, and even went to school here right from her childhood.
“It is what I like doing the most. What I get goes into savings for my child. Drivers and others in the industry respect me and none has ever crossed the boundary. We just joke a lot,” she said.