Boda Boda

18. July 2013 by Ludger

Boda Boda is a East African mean of transportation. And the variant I was referring to is becoming more and more popular in cities close to a traffic collapse like Nairobi is the motorcycle taxi.
Sitting myself in a normal taxi I was not able to capture a picture of a boda boda in full action. By this I mean one with two passengers behind the driver.
The other category of boda bodas in their hundreds if not thousands are the goods transportation motorbikes.

The Kenyan papers I read were referring to the boda bodas as replacing the matatu (I will post on them separately) as number 1 cause in road carnage. Therefore my statement not being brave enough

Initially – and still outnumbering the motorbike – the boda boda was a standard roadster bicycle with either a cushion for people transport or a carrier for goods transport.

But why boda boda?
Legend says this term derives from the Kenya/Uganda border region. It started in the southern border crossing town of Busia and quickly spread to the northern border town of Malaba. In Busia there is a stretch of about a kilometer “no-mans-land” between the border posts. Bicycle owners saw a business opportunity in transport people from gate to gate without the paperwork involved with using motor vehicles crossing the international border. The bicycle owners would shout out boda-boda (border-to-border) to potential customers.

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