Rider for life: There are more than 8,000 safe boda riders in Kampala, but have you ever wondered who 001 is? Well, Moses Musinguzi is that guy and he makes it easy for everyone to know. Matter of fact, he is referred to as Number Emu in many circles. He has gone on to command a huge following on social media. Lawrence Ogwal caught up with him.
1.How did you become a Safe boda guy?
I started out in 2014 while working at Endiro boda stage. Before that, I was a mechanic, repairing motorbikes in Kamwokya where I met Rapa Thompson, one of the Safe Boda founders. He used to come to repair his bike and when he brought up the idea of Safe Boda, I was the first person he approached with the idea and how it would work. I became the first person to get signed up and rider 002 came in after two weeks. The number started growing over time and in the first two-three months, we were working as normal bodas but getting tips from passengers.
2.Your social media pages are filled with safe boda posts, is it part of your job to market?
My posts have always been about Safe Bodas ever since I joined but not under the company’s command. I pride in my job. Most boda riders are not proud of their jobs, so I write posts that remind them to be proud of it. I have seen many come out to post selfies while on the job and I think my influence is working.
3.You participated in the Jonah challenge, did you have to use your helmet?
The reason I have a big following on social media is because I am creative, funny and I post things that inspire other riders and my followers in different professions. As a proud boda rider, I decided not to say, “Jonah, please close that hodulopu”, and just twisted it to say, “Shanice, can you bring me that, my helmet”, which I think the followers found funny. The other post with the helmet on my head while cooking, was a message to people, especially the men who fear to cook because they do not want onions to go into their eyes.
4.You seem to have an active life on social media, do you still ride?
I am no longer a rider, but rather support stuff at the office because of my experience and my involvement in building the business over the years. I still get people who want to ride with me, but I took my last 50 trips last year in November, before I was told to start working at the office. I am now the driver support manager, although I have been involved in recruitment, training riders and marketing.
5.What are some the things you have achieved as a boda rider?
My biggest achievement is the respect I get as a boda rider and I am also proud of the revolution of the boda boda industry. I have also managed to build a house in Nansana. I never went to university but I am proud that I know how to operate a computer and I will soon be joining university to do either Project Planning and Management or Data Analysis.
Who is Moses Musinguzi?
I am 30 years old and went to Kasese High School for my 0-Level before coming to Kampala to help my brother repair bikes. It is here that I was able to earn some money and pay for my fees to complete secondary school at City High School. In my vacation, I started a workshop and it was here that I met my girlfriend Lillian Nakimera.
Outside boda work
I love my family so much. I have a girlfriend and two children, who mean a lot to me and whenever I am not at work, I spend the whole day with them at home or we go out together.