Have you been around Kampala or any other place in Uganda, you have probably gotten on many a number of public transport motorbikes (Boba boda). Boda bodas are my main means of transport most especially while travelling around Kampala, and so many out there. They are prefered because of their fastness, convenience as they can easily manoeuvre in between cars stuck in traffic.
If you have used them for long, you have probably met different riders. Have you ever realised that many of these have some thing in common while doing their work? Here are the most common types you are likely find in not only Kampala roads, but also Ugandan.
The kind I dislike most. Such a type races very fast, as if he is in a hurry on your behalf most espaecially on straight stretches such as Entebbe Road Queen’s way or the Lugogo – Nakawa stretch. As soon as you’ve hoisted yourself onto the seat, he will speed along like you’re getting late for something.
Worst of all, most are reckless. They can drive opposite ways on one way roads, dodge other vehicles on a road just like a motor GP defending champion leaving you with imaginations of a grisly motorbike accident happening in the next two minutes. Though some slow down when asked, others just let your words vanish in thin air.
These are chronic talkers. They start talking as they fasten their helmet and will keep on talking until you alight. Within 5 minutes of ride, the conversation could have gone through politics, women, football betting tips to gossiping about their regular customers.
They always have a lot to say and ready to tell it to you whether you want to listen or not. As they talk, the gushing wind carries their words away and you hear nothing, but you just go along with responses of aah, eeh.. ooh yeah yeah….. Even when you arrive at your destination, he will keep the talk going.
The ‘Ever Smart’
Unlike the chatterbox, the ever smart are always quiet and serious. Dress like a gentlemen with fine polished shoes with a laminated copy of their license pinned at the front of the motorbike. They ride well and abide by the traffic rules.
They never put on jackets as it is common with their fellow, only a finely cleaned reflective vest matching with the trousers is enough to keep away the coldness. Always with a customer helmet and a cloth for wiping their bike. You can only find them at their designated stages and will always close work before 6pm.
Always on road on sundays and after 10pm on other days. They look dishevelled, dirty, and seem to be high on an illegal substance and always look suspicious. They seem not to have a driving license and like they stole the motorbike. Their bikes are like old pieces of junk and no safety gear.
While giving you service, you always hope of turning against you in a dark corner and mug you. However, you are pleasantly surprised and relieved when you get to your destination safely without incident. On arrival, expect change of filthy, old, torn one thousand shillings notes, cramped up in a ball in their pocket. They uncrumble the note and give it to you without saying a word.
Some are new riders in town coming from the villages to look for greener pastures while others are just starting out. They don’t know the various places yet and will ask where that is when you tell them your destination. They haven’t found an ideal waiting spot and often look unsure and hesitant.
When you board a rookie be ready to direct them to your destination.