Meet George Murunga, Thika 'Black mamba' bodaboda who has been riding for 10 years

for Tv47 Digital March 20, 2022, 12:43 PM
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George Murunga, a bodaboda rider in Thika town. Despite many of his friends upgrading to motorcycle bodabodas, he has maintained the black mamba culture, and he does not regret his decision. PHOTO / TV47 Digital.

George Murunga with his bicycle in Thika town. He has been riding for the past 10 years, raising his family through the business. PHOTO / TV47 Digital.

When I ask how they (bicycle bodabodas) have remained popular, he tells me that there are pedestrians who do not like the wind synonymous with 'nduthis' and prefer the slow pace of his 'black mamba'.

Relationship with motorcycle bodabodas

There seems to be a good-natured relationship between the 'baiskeli' and 'nduthi' operators. It is explained to me that most of the motorcycle riders were riding bicycles before upgrading.

The two industries co-exist peacefully within the town sharing customers as well as pick up and drop off spots.

However, the difference was seen last week when President Uhuru ordered a nationwide crackdown to streamline the bodaboda sector. Despite tens of motorcycles being impounded by the police, the bicycle bodabodas were carrying out business as usual.

"Iyo siku tulibeba kama nduthi," says an ecstatic Murunga. That turned out to be his most profitable day with the rider doubling his daily average.

Murunga, however, admits that the motorbikes rake in a lot more money a day which is why he also plans to purchase his own 'nduthi' once his children are done with school.

"You can be successful in any business as long as you are diligent and work hard" is the parting shot from Murunga. It doesn't take long before I see that he has already been beckoned by another customer.

With light being shed on the bodaboda sector, we ought to remember there are other operators of engine-less machines (bicycles) who have stuck with their trade and gone under the radar in the recent past.

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