The cry of a beleaguered taxi passenger
Edith Nyiraneza, a resident of Kacyiru, says that two weeks back she happened to go to Nyamirambo, a Kigali suburb, by the only means she could afford, a taxi.“I wish I had another alternative because my trip was not easy at all considering the noise I had to bear with”, she complained.
“Before boarding the taxi, the music was on too loud, and I thought that maybe the volume would be decreased when passengers boarded but no, that was just wishful thinking. As the taxi moved they played Kitoko’s “Urukundo” so loud I thought the windows would crack. I couldn’t help but tell the driver to reduce the volume but my plea fell on deaf ears and instead he just pumped up the volume whenever a new song came on”, says Nyiraneza.
The taxis going to that Nyamirambo are noticeable, often painted with the pictures of great artists both international and local.
“An elderly man kept telling the guys to reduce the volume but nothing was done. A young lady on my other side was just busy singing along, nodding her head so happily. At one point I feared she would get up and dance,” says Nyiraneza.
Hakizimana Frank, a resident of Nyamirambo, says getting off these buses is a tug of war because you have to shout so you can be heard by the conductor.
“Tuba tumeze nkabari muri Cadillac,” says Hakizimana, literally meaning, “it’s as if we are in Cadillac (a nightclub in town.)”
“As we moved along some lady at the back was like “mwagabanyizye radio tukitaba telephone,” meaning “please reduce the volume so we can pick our calls”,’ but it was like she talking to a wall,” narrates Nyiraneza.
In addition to that, the taxis move way too fast and the roads are narrow. The unnecessary excess hooting makes the whole experience nightmarish.
“I kept asking myself whether these people had any consideration for others. People couldn’t make or receive any calls along the way,” says Nyiraneza.
Taxi operators must learn some customer care. They should learn to listen to a customer’s requests because, as it is commonly said, ‘the customer is king’.
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