A while ago, for the third time that day, I was counting out the coins in my rather thin and miserable looking wallet: one 100 franc coin, one 50 franc coin and six 20 franc coins – 270 francs in total. I needed at least Rwf400 to get a moto ride home, or Rwf500 to get two buses home. So, despite my inappropriate footwear, and the dark clouds looming overhead, I began my long trek home.
So there I was, doing my infamous T-Rex impression along the road (my brother thinks women walk like dinosaurs when they wear high heels – by women, he means, of course, me) and bemoaning my sorry state, when a moto, a.k.a a boda boda, pulled up in front of me. I figured he was trying to sell me a ride, but I was wrong:
Using a charming mix of Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili, the young man first confirmed that I was Rwandan and secondly, that I do not have a mugabo (man/husband), before confessing that he had fallen in love with me (that is what nakupenda (Kiswahili) means right?) and wanted to know if he could be my boyfriend. Well, well, well... I guess my T-Rex walk ain’t half bad - and hey, the guy was pretty cute – he was rocking that Tigo sponsored helmet. Still, as I explained to him (in my own endearing version of Kinyarwanda), I didn’t know him well enough, and therefore had to politely decline. He then offered to take me on a short ride around the block so that we could talk and get to know each other better. Well, well, well… as refreshingly different as that would be for a first date, my mother always told me not accept rides from strange men even if (or especially if) they claim to have fallen in love with you. I therefore, once again, politely declined.
Now, I must confess that I was tempted to sweet talk him into giving me a free ride home, before promptly dumping him at the gate... but I’m not that kind of girl - and it’s probably that same quality that he fell in love with in the first place.
Akaliza Keza Gara is the founder of Shaking Sun Ltd, a multimedia company.