1 December 2012

Kenya: Day in the Life - I Work Within the Law to Avoid Getting Into Trouble With Police

David Chege is a tout at the Ngong-Kiserian route. He has been doing this job for the last five years and is getting married today at Enoomatasiani Catholic Church.

I wake up at 4.45am, take a shower, dress up and walk from my Upper Matasia house to Matasia shopping centre. I get there at around 6am. I operate the Ngong-Kiserian route daily and our first trip is to Ngong.

At this hour, we carry very many passengers because it is the rush hour, everyone is headed to work. We also have to be very sharp because although there are many commuters, there are other means of transport like motorbikes. Some people with cars also take commuters on board at the same price.

With such competition, you have to be very aggressive. I have my breakfast at a restaurant in Ngong at around 10am while waiting for passengers to board the matatu to Matasia.

By 11am, I'm back on the road again. Most of the time I have my lunch at Kiserian and the kind of food I take depends on my mood; sometimes I want to have nyama choma, other times I want chapati and beans and other times I have no appetite and I just want to have fruits.

Many people look down on touts but I don't because they are respectable people. Besides, not everyone can work in the office. My driver and I have learnt to work together and we rarely argue. We also don't get into trouble with the police because we have learnt to relate well and adhere to the traffic rules.

Sometimes the passengers can be a problem; some do not want to pay the fare in full as we keep increasing it depending on the fuel prices. Ngong is also a very cold place so it's a bit uncomfortable for us waking up in the wee hours. I keep encouraging myself that every job has challenges.

This hope keeps me going until 9pm when I call it a day. I get to my house at around 10pm and all I want to do is fall asleep due to fatigue.

My Fridays and Saturdays are a bit different though. These are the days I sit in for my driver when he is off. I get my off day on Sunday, and spend most of it in church.

In the morning I attend the service and in the afternoon I'm at the Catholic Men Association meetings. Most recently, I have also been organising my wedding which is happening today at Enoomatasiani Catholic Church.

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