8 December 2012

Kenya: Day in the Life - These Days I Have to Close Business At 9 PM to Avoid Carjackers

I wake up at 5am and pray to God that he blesses my day. I then get ready for work. I live in Kibiko, Ngong, so I leave my house by 5.15am and by 5.30am, I'm in Ngong town.

I'm very lucky that I own the Taxi so I don't worry about transport to the shopping center. I may be lucky to get clients between that time and 7am but most of them show up after that, so I take that time to take breakfast.

Most of my morning clients want to be taken to Kajiado or Nairobi. Many of them are businessmen transporting goods from one town to the other.

These are the high-end customers. They pay well but unfortunately, most of the money is spent on fuel. I then go back to my pick up point, which is at Ngong, opposite Barclays Bank.

From there, I just wait for clients to either show up or sometimes get a phone call from regular clients to go and pick them up from wherever they are.

This is usually the trend till lunch time when I join other taxi drivers at a restaurant where we discuss our day's activities as we eat.

The routine goes on until 9pm when we close business. Recently, I was carjacked by thugs at a client's gate. The thugs even threatened to shoot us but luckily, a disagreement came up amongst themselves and they finally let us go.

This was the last time I went home past 9pm. I'm very careful about who I carry in my taxi because not every client has good intentions.

Some just use us to rob people. Sometimes I find my wife and child still up and we talk for a while as I have dinner. I go to bed at around 10am.

The only day when my routine changes is on Sunday. I take time to relax with my family since I stopped going to church a while back. No amount of money can stop me from spending this day with family.

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