Friday, 24 January 2014

The Ultimate Bodaboda Fashion Shoot - Part I. UPDATED PICS!

After spending the large part of three months out of Uganda, travelling around Rwanda, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Zambia, Bodaboda Baby has been having withdrawal symptoms from bodas (although she did get some boda, and tuk-tuk action in TZ. More on this later)

But no sooner had she been back in the "Pearl of Africa" when it was time for the Ultimate Bodaboda Fashion Shoot. All drivers below are riders she has randomly met in the past and they are all sporting their own clothes, with virtually no styling.

Silver Tumwesige.

Silver Tumwesige, 33, has been a boda driver for 12 years. He wears a black jacket he bought from Kampala's Owino market for 30,000 Ugandan shillings (or $12USD), what appear to be Jasper Conran Jeans (10,000 UGX or $4), wellies he purchased from an industrial area of Kampala (27,000 UGX or $11) and a Calvin Klein wallet (it appears to be real) he picked up from a street seller for 15,000 UGX, the equivalent of $6.

Speaking about his coat - which I remarked looked like something I used to wear in Blighty - Silver explained, "I wear it because when we're riding it's windy. It keeps me warm and protects me. I like to be smart everyday because that's what customers like." 

Even when filling up Silver, whose real name is Sylvester, manages to look effortlessly stylish. 

Photo by Clare Wise de Wet. See 

Henry Muwonge, 25, has had his wheels for three years. He wears a bright yellow shirt which he bought in town (30,000 UGX or $12), jeans (also 30,000 UGX), SPORT label shoes (44,000 UGX or $18), Carrera sunnies (they don't appear to be real - 10,000 UGX or $4) and a hat which matches his shirt and footwear (30,000 UGX or $12).

"I wear clothes like these everyday," Henry said. "It's important to be smart. I go shopping for clothes during weekends. I always put on sunglasses. I always match the colors."

A matchy-matchy boda. 

Brian Rubega. Photo by Clare Wise de Wet. 

Brian said he hadn't been to the Hard Rock Cafe Dubai - but is very keen to go.

Brian Rubega, 20, has clocked up two years as a boda driver. He wears a Hard Rock Cafe Dubai shirt which he snapped up at the bargain price of 2,000 UGX (or less than $1), jeans (5,000 UGX or $2) and trainers (10,000 UGX or $4).

"I like my job because when I'm working I feel better," Brian said. "I spend the money I earn mostly on clothes and rent." 

He snapped up his shirt for less than $1. 

Ismail Ssemanda. Photo by Clare Wise de Wet. 

Not afraid to navigate dusty, potholed roads in a suit. 

Ismail Ssemanda, 20, was the newbie of the shoot, having only started working as a boda driver a month ago. His jacket set him back 120,000 UGX (nearly $50). He also wears a crisp white shirt (20,000 UGX or $8), trousers (again 20,000 UGX) and school type shoes (40,000 UGX or $17) which he bought from local markets. 

"This boda is not mine, I rent it from my boss," said Isma, who is married with three young children. "I was driving his car before this, but my boss got some problems and then the bank took the car." (NB: Tugende  provide loans in the form of a new bike to recommended drivers in a hire-purchase arrangement. Check them out).

Suited up and ready for passengers. 

During the photo shoot with proper photographer Clare Wise de Wet we also spotted these funky boda seat covers, below, for sale in Mengo.

Imagine putting your bum on one of these trendy seat covers...

If we go closer it's...a shoe mobile. Squeal. 

The shoot capped off an exciting week for Bodaboda Baby, who had discovered a shoe mobile, above, in her new neighbourhood (it's not technically a boda) earlier.

Of course Kampala city is full of stylish boda drivers, but these are just a few of our faves. Stand by for part two of the shoot, where we'll bring you more uber hip riders!

For more shots of fashionable bodabodas, follow me on Instagram - @amyelizabethfallon. 

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