A modest proposal for the boda-boda industry

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I salute all my brothers and sisters both actively and passively involved in this notorious faction of the economy. This sector is so big that Mulago Hospital spends Shs1.5 billion on treating boda boda patients each year. On-the-road actors in Kampala alone outnumber Makerere University students by far.

Considering all the atrocities you have committed in this country in which you almost outnumber school going children, I propose that a Boda-Boda College (BBC) be established. Among the subjects taught should be traffic signs, field tests (practical), ethics and principles of the profession and a bit of mechanics. However, minimum requirement for joining the college should be a presentable PLE certificate or its equivalent. This will enable us have boda-boda riders who are certificate, diploma, degree, masters or even doctorate holders in the field. Their IDs or tags and uniforms will direct you to the most educated rider. With the current competition in every business, the certificate holders seeing that they are losing most customers to their superiors will go back to college to attain more papers. This will continue till the streets are sieved and left with elite motorcycle operators only.

An additional advantage would be pride in the ‘scholars’. Parents alone would rejoice and ululate on their childrens’ graduation ceremony. At the moment, most boda-boda riders are detested and looked down upon by most officers and campusers especially females. No any other suggestion can solve that attitude other than what this proposal is technically offering now.
My proposal shamelessly exposes the shortcomings in one-day long trainings for averagely 300 out of hundreds of thousands of bodas organized by petty discriminative associations. Worst still, such trainings end without even the simplest internal examination being done compared to mine that might have a national exam. These organizers work on the assumption that everyone has understood- both the slow and fast learners equally. How can uninformed riders comprehend complicated road signs when they have never drawn symbols of bridges even in pencil? Sorry, they know them in one way or the other but not the signs. I love the linkage bodas create-they ride to make money not only for themselves but also for coffin makers as a result of the over 500 deaths and 1200 injuries they cause each year according to police statistics.

Many people resort to boda-boda riding as a last resort (especially after running away from books). Therefore many Ugandans are literally living up to the saying that “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Time is running out for this category. Don’t hate me for this. Once my proposal is approved, ignorance will soon become education.

This proposal can never run out of benefits; besides jobs for teachers and other would-be staff, graduates will only float if they want to. You can get me to write more proposals to the government and other stakeholders and donors to donate motorbikes to those lacking them. Since government might introduce subsidies or free vocational education next year (as per state of the nation address), this proposal is timely. Naturally, scholarships will be awarded both from within and without.

Let Uganda for once be praised for inventing a model that every country will later copy. Let’s turn this business into a profession. Please, let’s implement this fast and first before any other country steals the idea. I love my country. For God and my country.