What’s it with the boda boda guys?
They are sometimes a deplorable lot, morally decadent and vulgar loudmouths. Yet, an integral part of the social fabric that holds communities together.
It’s no wonder then that everyone has a favorite boda boda guy.
Like apples in a barrel, they come in a variety. While the group largely has outstanding, morally upright individuals, a barrel of apples definitely won’t lack a pair or so of rotting specimen – and, this is what tarnishes an otherwise good past time.
There are several types in this barrel.
The Talkative Fellow will not let you settle on the bike seat properly, before he starts talking. It doesn’t matter if you are listening or not….he’ll rat out on which of his colleagues takes a shower or doesn’t. He’ll remind you of the day the beer truck tipped over at the market. They are conniving bastards – he calculates his speed based on the distance to your destination, so that every story doesn’t hang off halfway.
Sometimes, the talkative fellow hasn’t brushed his teeth, for days. Now, that’s a bad day for you!
The Political Rider keeps tabs on the political trends of the day.
“Hey, unaona huyu jamaa wetu akipata hii kiti tena?” He asks, wind blowing spittle backwards into your face.
You don’t like politics, but he keeps turning his head to catch your reply.
“Hapana, hajafanya kitu – huoni hii bara bara inataka repair?” You answer, timidly.
You realize it’s a mistake the minute you let the words fly out. He skids to a halt, dust flying. He turns to face you. Oblivious of time, the political rider then lurches into a 10-minute monologue on why the incumbent is still his candidate of choice. After a while, getting fidgety, you remind him that the next elections are still three years short.
“Maisha ni siasa, rafiki”, He says, sighing in exasperation at your apparent ignorance. Mercifully, he fires up his rickety bike.
The rider that puts your inner strength and fortitude to the test, is The Filthy, Dirty Rider. This guy hasn’t had a change of clothes in recent times. Sometimes, he’s dreadlocked and God-knows-what lives in those dreadlocks.
In a twist of irony, this type is usually very popular around bus termini, and their bikes? Oh, man. Their bikes are spotless, shiny and kitted out with fancy gadgetry.
The filthy guy lets the bike market itself. He doesn’t sit on it as he waits for clients. You’ll point the parked shiny bike – and the rider shall emerge from the shed. Since you’ve already made your pick, you’ll have to endure the ride.
You’ll suffer a mixture of disgusting body smells.
The Professional Rider.
This is the most likeable guy. He’s punctual and well-dressed in jeans, boots and heavy jackets. Unlike his peers above, he has a functional cell phone, and most clients call for services. Before the lockdown, business would run well past the night as he’s created a trustworthy client base.
One such professional is challenging his boda boda peers in my locality.
When Covid-19 pandemic struck, he’s had to change with the times. He’d invested in masks and sanitizers. The social distance directive that advises one client on a bike? He takes it seriously.
On payments, he’s turned to cashless payments. He has a Co-op Bank account. Recently, he learnt that Co-op Bank assists business owners to get M-Pesa Till numbers for their businesses, he didn’t waste time. The bank assisted him get one for his bike business at no cost!
A boda boda guy with an M-Pesa till number sticker on the fuel tank! That’s ingenious!
Now, his clients pay his bills via the M-Pesa till number on the bike’s tank, and the money is deposited straight into his Co-op Bank account.
Business owners can learn more on E-commerce Business Solutions or visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch. The bank shall also assist you acquire M-Pesa till numbers to facilitate cashless payments at no cost.
June 24, 2020