A Christian, a son, a business man and faithful partner of Family media, Vincent Kayanga makes a living from the “boda boda” (rider) business.
As a Christian in the market place, and more so in the boda boda industry, which is tied to more negative than positive characteristics, we asked him how he is able to remain firm in his faith, and make an impact amongst his peers and clients in the industry, that is mostly known for being rouge.
“By taking the sector like any other job we have around. When riding with my clients, we talk about church, we have invited each other to come join or come to visit churches from different parts of the country. Sometimes you can beba mtu (carry someone)unawafikisha na amekupatia pesa mingi juu ako na haraka ama atakutumia juu ako na haraka means you have to tell them shika pesa zako (you drop them and they pay you excess and cause they are in a hurry or they send you excess, you have to tell them no, take your change) … that is honesty.”
Vincent is one of many who are trying to make an honest living through boda boda business, but the negative stories around his industry make it difficult sometimes to earn trust and operate as an honest service provider.
“I don’t know if it’s anywhere else in the world where boda boda riders are seen as thugs and thieves. All I can say is working as a boda boda is an opportunity where it has raised my experience and to get to know many people from differnt sections of the world.” He continues to say, “Being a boda boda you go to a place, you have gone to deliver something and someone is harassing you because they think you have come to take what they have there.”
A viral video has been doing the rounds, of a group of alleged boda boda riders, molesting a woman who is suspected to have hit a boda boda rider. There seems to be a cycle of history repeating itself, where some sort of inferiority complex, and mob thinking takes place amongst boda boda riders. Vincent expounds on what this said vulnerability looks like for them as riders, why history keeps repeating itself and what should have been done in the case of the viral video.
“The guys who are crowding hapo, wange mzuia, wampeleke police station pale mbele.” In Vincent’s opinion the people in the video didn’t handle it the right way. He encourages that even if a driver hits a rider, they should find a way to come out and show that they want to assist, at least to even take the injured (if any) casualty to hospital.
In a quest to find the right solutions for this whole menace industry, since rules have been set, and cooperative bodies have even been formed, we see that the root problem is the people themselves. The lack of self-discipline, a certain inferiority complex and disregard for traffic laws and the false safety in numbers, to do whatever one feels like. What seems to be a societal and moral issue, will take more than a crackdown to clear up.
May be we need more Vincent’s around. Do what you can in your sphere of influence, do what is right. A storm is made with little drops of rain.