For all intents and purposes, many of us love to use bodabodas and I would not blame you anyway. These guys offer you the easiest means to zap around town.
For so many years they have been our buddies. If you want to host your girl who claims she has no transport, you have always had your boda ninja on call like your personal secret service agent to pick her up from wherever she is to your destination no questions asked.
Don’t get me wrong some of these ladies also have their boda guys whose loyalty can never be questioned. They are like the fish stuck in the 200 Uganda Shillings coin. If she wants to be dropped offoeam anywhere, he is the man for the job and sometimes even her emissary.
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My body and soul danced to the Shaku shaku tunes when I first saw a female boda rider. This was everything I longed to to see one day, icing to the cake already made by now rising female conductors.
Don’t mistake female conductors to be gullible because of their looks and the pre-conceived stereotypes, these ladies are just as savage as the male conductors and have been reported to even been more efficient.
It was all jubilation when apps like Taxify and Safe Boda came and created their own field of play. Well even some celebrities have found these apps a thing of beauty.
Indeed, some of the boda riders are our friends because they are just like you and me trying to make a living and of course some are thugs and have tarnished the image for the others. My lament today is mostly with some of the riders who are not signed up with any company.
One day, the sun was setting, the wind bringing on a chill and the usual bustle of the busy evening rush hour city traffic and noise was going off all around me. I had to find sanity my plugging my soul to Ykee Benda music as I made my way to meet my crush-cum bae. Yes, she graduated from crush to bae, keep your eye rolls to yourself.
With each heavy stride I took, the weight of how late I was kept weighing even heavier down on me and taking a taxi was not going to be acceptable by my date. It didn’t take long before a boda passing by stopped at my hitch.
Man to man, I tried to talk him down to take me for shs. 4,000 to Kyadondo – a prime happening spot with Michael’s unforgettable roasts. Have you ever been there and your mind is already at the destination as your body is still on its way? I think that was me.
A young lady in her mid-twenties shows up signaling for a boda, this guy ditches me without mentioning whether I had offered him less or he just wasn’t interested. I had been talking to myself for probably the last minute or so.
Oh, how I wished she would turn his offer down and indeed God listens when you least expect it. She rejected him and he came back to me like the boy in the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Bible, with no shred of shame asking how much I had.
Luckily, I am not a Bible character and I don’t have the same mercy as the love sick father in the parable and I offer no solace for he who is lost and now found, I told him I had shs, 2,000 and jumped on the next boda that came willing to take me for shs.4,000.
I see and go through this several times, you will be ditched for a woman and worse if she is light skinned there is probably no second thought. These experiences almost groomed my dislike for brown ladies. A customer is a customer, male, female, brown, white, dark, tall or short; we take our time too to stop and negotiate with the boda we have chosen instead of ditching it for a recent arrival.
Some of the ladies may not even pay the same full fare we offer for a longer distance so what value is cultivated. We need to stand together turn down people who don’t have customer values and integrity at heart.
Tomorrow it could be you in this situation.
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Associate at the Uganda Child Cancer Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!