Sunday, 15 May 2016

FROM THE HORSES MOUTH-The Boda Boda Rider.

 I have been in this business for the last decade.I have seen all manner of bikes come and go.With their riders.The bike to the junkyard,the rider six feet under.Or more, depending on the mood of the grave diggers.Sometimes a fela's so unpopular,the diggers will dig seven feet, instead of six,in case the son-of-a-goon decides to perform a 'grave-break',like Lazarus of the Holy book.I have learnt to keep my peace,to let you pass if you are in such a hurry,for many times i have done so,only to find the 'overtaker' mixed up with metal,only a few meters ahead.Then, they are wheeled back to the opposite direction,from which just a few moments ago,they were fleeing.

I have seen colleagues give their very lives to this business.I have seen others get theirs from it.It depends on whom you decide to study,i guess.By and large though,we have remained unappreciated.We are suspects of every wrong-doing in the society.True,there will always be a bad apple here,and another there.Just like there are bad apples within the force created specifically to eliminate bad apples- the police force.(My personal belief is,if the police force was made up of apples,by now they would have all turned to bitter lemons). The collective condemnation we suffer is painful.Especially because on almost all counts,we are innocent.To prove my point,here is just a brief look at the very selfless roles we perform for the society.

The Unofficial Custodians Of Gossip.

 We have come a long way to usurp this role.On realization that the Salonists were not very good custodians,we voluntarily offered to yank that role from them,on behalf of other peace-loving citizens.You could not trust the salonist with gossip.Because she would only manage to stay silent on a matter,as long as there was no other human being on sight.The moment one shows up,trust the salonist to spill all the beans,plus the maize.Many a household have been broken this way.Because the Salonist wouldn't keep her mouth shut.A salonist with a new secret,is like a balloon that has taken in maximum capacity.You prick it with a feather and it explodes.She has this funny look on her face,that will always prod you to ask a question,so she can squeal.When she has some new piece of gossip,she bulges on the forehead, with the words 'inbox' blinking to a stranger from a mile away,begging to be clicked open.
On realization of that,we have officially usurped that role of gossip custodian.Taking the role from her hasn't been easy,though.But finally,after numerous attempts, i can report success.She did resist,yes. And the fight has been brutal.But we knew we were winning the moment ladies embraced the boda boda as their favorite means of transport.All we needed to do was win them over,get them to talk.Soon,they were offloading to us all that they used to offload to the salonist.

Now we know who slept where and with whom.We know who's house erupted into a wrestling match at night,moments after we dropped our clients.We know which households didn't just erupt into a wrestling match,but exploded into a full-blown heavyweight category boxing match,complete with the ear-biting technique,invented and perfected by a fading 'Iron Mike',back in the nineties,after dismantling all and sundry for a decade.We know which men(And there are many) are battered by their wives.We even know of a man who has slept on the couch for the last one decade,having been served with a conjugal rights revocation letter before the current president took office.These many things we know,yet we keep our mouths shut.We desist from spreading rumors unnecessarily because we are peace-loving citizens,who not only pay our taxes before time,but also pay more than is required of us by law.Willingly. We go out of our way,to ensure households remain as firm as a Captain bike,because we understand that a society that squeals on its customers,is a society hurtling down the road to vehicles.And no one wants that.Where everyone is driving their own cars,because they couldn't trust the Boda boda rider,that is detrimental to national growth.So we've embraced honesty.Our ears are open,every time of day.You will accuse us of not brushing our teeth and having foul-breaths,buts its actually you,who do almost all the talking.That means,if anyone's breath is foul,it might as well be yours.But we don't tell you that now,do we.Ours is a listening role,a rather passive role.

Spare Boyfriends

This is going to hit men hard.But it needn't be so.See,sometimes a man is rather too busy in nation-building activities.Sometimes a man is almost always away in all these important functions,especially now that devolution is taking root,and every meeting is blamed on devolution.A guy will fly to the Seychelles with his twenty-year old mistress,and still pretend to be in a devolution conference in Kisumu.People who are this busy need not be bothered with questions like why wherever he goes,network issues seem to follow them.These kind of men need their peace.Or the economy of our country will crash.Our very lives depend on the amount of peace these men will have.

You do not want to disturb a man who is in a devolution conference that has gone on all the way to three in the morning.Especially if he shows up,in those wee hours, with a hoarse voice,meaning he must have been the lead speaker.That's how much this nation depends on him.So we offer alternatives for their girlfriends and spouses,for the sake of our country's economic goals,especially now that we wish to hit double digits,this coming financial year.So understand,that most of these things we do out the love that we have for the nation.Patriotism.That's the word.We have to work collectively,if we wish to move this country to the next level.And if anyone realizes that,it sure must be us,the boda boda riders.Trust me,we don't stink as much as the media people have portrayed us.Or we wouldn't be playing the above role so flawlessly,and to so many. You don't hug a stinking pole the way most of you lady customers hug us from behind,pretending to be as scared as a rabbit.This is one of those lies that have been carefully choreographed by our business competitors,whom we are gradually driving out of business-the Taxi.

Voluntary Suspects

Ask the cops,then you'll know how much easier their work has become because of us.That's because whenever there is a major crime,and the ill-equipped cops have no clue where to start their investigations,all they have to do is show up to our sheds,and pick a few of us up to "assist with investigations". Next thing you know,we are paraded to court,then later,acquitted for lack of evidence and the cops,who hate investigations by the way,can resume their daily fattening routines and lifestyle before beer runs out at the brewery.Simple.Their work has become so much easier now,yet there is hardly anyone willing to give credit where its due. We provide ready suspects for a crime that is yet to happen,a suspect for an assassination that is yet to take place.

We are the society's willing sacrificial lambs But we will keep playing that role because we realize,the role of sacrificial lamb,is not only a calling,it is holy as well. Never tire of doing a good thing,they say.So you can trust us to remain committed to our calling,even if it means doing so by force.Contrary to what many of you believe,there is actually such a thing as volunteering by force.Mostly that is what we do,since most of you are too naive to know what's best for you.

Platform For Ladies To 'Tease'.

Look.You have been alive for three decades straight.You believe you are an attractive lady.Yet the only person who has ever looked your way,the way a man is supposed to look at a woman,is the guy who carries groceries for customers at Marikiti.And even he, did it once when stoned to high heavens.He's never quite looked your way again,despite numerous winks and suggestive overtures from your side.Now you are beginning to wonder if,from the moment you step out of your house,you turn into a spirit that people can't see with their naked eyes.Men seem to ignore you.You've read that they are supposed to be dogs that will take anything to bed,as long as she is breathing.Well, anything except you.You are beginning to develop a dislike for them.Men and dogs,including the innocent chiwawa,that knows nothing about dating or hating.

For these kind of ladies,we understand their pain.And we provide a perfect forum,from where they can display all her wares,as we cruise through town.Men will ogle and whistle,for the skirt has deliberately been pulled a few inches upwards.By the time she alights,the lady will be feeling much better,its therapeutic.She will have confirmed that she is not an invisible spirit after all,and there is still hope to nail herself a real man.Then she will sleep much better,and hope that the spell continues even when she is walking the streets.Some women will be irritated by male attention,because they've never had a problem getting it.Others would give anything to have all those male dogs,seated by the wayside chewing green cud,to at least whistle even disrespectfully towards her.You see,then,how helpful we are to such.We help restore her confidence and self-pride. And we ask for nothing in return.We don't even talk about it when we get back to the shed,no.We keep our mouths shut,only speaking when spoken to.

Punching Bags.

Some men have never had the privilege of giving an order all their lives.They have lived the life of a lion that can't hunt.They have had to watch events unfold,without having ever had a direct input to it.No one answers to them.The wife long 'grew horns',and no longer sits up when the poor bloke coughs.She doesn't even stir,because the hunter has brought nothing home.But you can't keep blaming the lion for the annual wildebeest migration that leaves one section of the park without sufficient prey.Its the economy,not the man.So,though battered to submission by the economy,traces of a lion can still be found in most men.But ladies don't seem to understand that,and will take very little nonsense from a man who's pockets have been plucked out.

So,whenever they can,these men take it out on us.They bark orders to us,the way they wish they were doing in the work-place.Sadly,at the work-place and at home,these kind of men are usually the recipients of orders,not the givers.So we accord them the only opportunity in life that will make them feel better.We obey without question,save for a few occasions when they have trouble paying for services rendered and we have to turn them upside down,so coins can trickle down.If we weren't there to receive this voluntary battering,where would such men turn?Who knows maybe they would turn to trees.Because a lion is still a lion even when he's been rained on,and whether there are gazelles in the vicinity or not,eating fresh meat is not negotiable.We avert untold psychological catastrophes,by being the uncomplaining punching bags to these kind of men.

So there you go.I hope from today you will accord us some respect.Without us,you people would suffer untold misery in your day to day lives.We willingly immerse ourselves in winter jackets,in tropical African weather,so your lives can be better.Do not blame everything on us.Sometimes we make our mistakes.But then again,so do you.We are an important addition to your life.And we will keep volunteering for those roles above,and many many more that will best remain unmentioned for now.

But for now,i have to go pick up some damsel downtown,before she opts for the wretched taxi.See you around.