The streets of Kampala are constantly congested with cars and taxis locked in endless jams, but somehow the city’s more than 100,000 boda boda drivers navigate the traffic to deliver passengers to their destinations. Motorcycle taxi or boda boda transport as it’s commonly known in Uganda, is a job mainly dominated by men. But one woman is bucking the trend and earning a living as a boda boda driver.
One kick start and she’s off to work. Riding a motorcycle taxi is Naome Awero’s trade.
Naome has been in the business for 4 years now.
“At first it was not easy; when I joined some taxi riders did not welcome me. They thought I was interfering with their job, while others scared me that I will die at the hands of iron bar hit men.” Naome said.
Her confidence on the road has helped her become a favourite for many motorcycle taxi lovers.
One of her clients praises her skills.
“She is a good rider compared to most of the riders in town. She doesn’t panic while riding.” Iftarizabayo said.
Courage is required for all of Kampala’s motorcycle taxi riders – given the heavy traffic on the city’s busy roads.
Naomi says it’s something she’s just had to get used to. She’s cautious – knowing that Many people have been involved in motorcycle accidents in the city.
“I take my time to see if am on the right, am I supposed to go or am I supposed to wait. Sometimes we get accidents through our clients…they rush us but most times I tell them to find another means of transport if they are in a hurry.” Naome said
According to recent statistics from Uganda’s traffic police 43 people died and 203 were seriously injured in the month of June and may.
Naomi is married to a fellow motorcycle rider and he supports her choice of job.
After work, we put together our money and decide how much to spend and also save.
For Naome riding a motorcycle taxi is a source of income for her family, but it’s also a milestone in breaking stereotypes.