Sunday, 2 December 2012

Just call me No. 3, or Stud. Meet Patrick, a Kireka Road boda.

What makes this look is the sunnies and the plain top with the studs around the collar.

Hello Kampala! After a week in Nairobi ("nightmare Nairobi" - well at least it was on Friday due to the matatu strike and diabolical traffic that this caused) it's nice to be back in Uganda and put my booty on a boda. (Here's an interesting story on how Twitter helped save the day in last week's chaos). Am pleased to say that the Ugandan drivers are looking "ever so smart". In fact it often makes choosing a ride (when you're in town and your regular taxi isn't around) hard. You should always go for a boda based on whether you like his sunnies and not, you know, on whether he seems to be indicating properly on the road and so on. I picked up Patrick Ahumuza, 27, originally from Hoima in western Uganda but now living in Namugongo, a Kampala suburb, on Gaddafi Road (not far from what I've named the "Street of Death", a steep hill that although has a Bata shoe shop near the bottom, I always close my eyes doing down and want to scream). Over a coffee at Cafe Javas Mengo Patrick told me about his life, including his job and his fashion:

I don't really like driving the boda but I don't have any other work to do. I've been driving the boda for three years.  I don't have a choice. If I did I would like to be driving a car. Before I became a driver I was studying in Hoima, in the village.

I take my baby boy Nolan, nearly one, and my wife on the boda, especially when we're going to church on Sunday. I've been married two years.

Yours truly goes for a spin with Patrick.

I'm wearing a heavy jacket today (despite it being 25 degrees outside) because when I'm driving I'm moving, so it's always cold. I buy the clothes from Owino.

I try to be smart but the roads are full of dust and mud. When I come from home in the morning I'm clean but I often end up dirty.

I drive Ugandans and mzungus (foreigners). But I don't have regular passengers. I just pick up whoever comes to my stage on Kireka Road. 

had an accident with a car in January and 2011 and ended up in the hospital and had to have treatment.  But I think boda bodas should be in Uganda because they help a lot of people, especially when someone is in a rush. He (or she) can leave his car and take a boda.

Check out those shades.

Black V neck cotton shirt with red polo logo and studs around the collar. No label. 15,000 UGX ($5.59) from Owino

Just call me Mambo Number 3 - or Stud.

1960s style sunnies 10,000 UGX from Owino.

Trying my new driver's sunnies on for size. They suit him better!

Ever so smart.

Jeans 25,000 UGX from Owino.

Comfy boda boda wear.
Shoes 40,000 from Owino.

When you're on the road as much as this boy is you need practical shoes.
The "Street of Death", not far from where I picked up Patrick.

Thanks to lovely Brenda from Cafe Javas Mengo who helped with translation and photos. She said she uses bodas because she "has a lot of work to do and am always in a rush".

In boda other news, the BBC currently have on their website this great pic of a Maasai man driving a boda near Eremit, about 80 km southwest of Nairobi. Coincidentally, my previous post was about a Maasai boda driver I met last week in the Kenyan capital.

Thanks to my friend Silver for also spotting this story in the Daily Monitor for me, while I was away. Bodas of Rwanda, be prepared, I'm coming soon!

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