Column Squad

The Taxi Riding “Muko”

Today’s ride promises to be smooth because as far as I can see everything is as it should. The conductor is averagely normal and the driver well . . . he looks a bit sober. The seats are confortable and the radio is mute meaning we will all be left to our individual mental anguishes fairly uninterrupted. That is until I notice the couple seated in front of me. At first I think I am imagining things but no it’s not true. Right there before me is an elderly Whiteman with his skinny black wife complete with a half caste 6year old girl. Surely, no this cannot be one of our esteemed “Bakos” in a taxi?   What is the world coming to if even the pensioners are dragged into public transport like us average Ugandans?

I mean everyone knows that the real reason why a young Ugandan girl marries an old man with sparse hair and a bulging stomach is so she can land softly in his fat wallet and what is evident, this guy’s wallet, if he has one is not bulging at all.

I begin to wonder what this geezer tells his young wife when they don’t have enough food in the house because the entire broke guy’s excuses such as “njagala nga bwendi” and “tuja kwezimba mpola” are certainly not admissible.

First the old man is nothing big to write home about. His skin is flaky, his cheeks are hollow probably as a result of missing teeth, his hair is lanky and his attempt at hippy rock star look of a ponytail in the spirit of the Rolling Stones has failed miserably.

And if I had any doubts about the state of this union it is confirmed by the way the wife discreetly pulls away her hand when Mr Pensioner tries to hold it.  His attempt at conversation also fails as his wife answers his questions in monosyllables. The wife of course is no fool she knows what we are all thinking, she knows they are in the wrong place at the wrong time better not make too problematic.

As we ascend Zzana, Tina Turner intervenes with “you are simply the best…” Poor old Tina surely does not understand the situation in the taxi. But again I know with a husband such as Ikke, it is possible to get your marbles mixed up and end up singing things which “Bitakwatagana” and this brings me to the second broke guy’s excuse of “we shall build ourselves slowly slowly” I realize with this couple there are no such possibilities because there’s no such building cape city left in the frail hands and as for his young wife, I wonder what mental discourse preceded her decision to bed this wrinkled bag of bones.

She must have been lowdown for her to take the chance with this guy. And where was this guy in his young days probably serving in the French foreign legion. Well, I did not know that their pension was that bad. As I disembark I  try to convince myself that this couple’s ride was done to do research on the functionality of the Uganda public transport system and that their Range Rover Sport is probably waiting for them at Akright stage and that Paul Kafeero now in his tenth minute of “nafunye omwana womuzungu” is right to celebrate. And that the young lady looking straight ahead does not need silver Kyangulanyi to encourage her to “kuguma” because “asinga bangi abatayaya” sometimes.


Hey, I am a Ugandan woman who spends a minimum of four hours daily travelling in taxis. Like you, I used to dread the taxi rides until I realized that it is a source of a variety of free entertainment and an interesting study of human nature.