Last Taxi to Kinshasa


An original, framed watercolour painting.

Across Africa, communal taxis are a lifeline that often provide the only means of transport for people in both urban and rural areas. The taxis vary in reliability and comfort, the drivers can be careful and considerate or reckless and intimidating. In east and central Africa taxis are called ‘matatus’ and the common wisdom is that ‘there is always room for one more in a matatu.’ If the driver sees a potential passenger standing on the side of the road ahead, he speeds up dramatically and slams on the brakes at the last minute. The impetus of the vehicle throws all the passengers forward, thereby creating room for one more at the back!  Taxis in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa are amongst the most notorious in Africa; the vehicles are often decrepit, the drivers irresponsible and the roads dangerous. Despite these risks, passengers have no choice other than to take their life into their hands and climb aboard.

The pattern at the bottom of the painting represents the famous Congolese fabric ‘Kuba Cloth.’ These textiles are made by the Kuba people and are well known for their elaborate and complex decoration. The textiles are made using lengths of woven palm leaf fibre enhanced by geometric designs.

Size: 540mm x 520mm

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1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 54 × 52 cm

Ian Macdonald


540mm x 520mm


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