Work dictates that they will not be sufficiently informed

Despite this being the information age, there are some sections of people in society whose jobs dictate that they remain distanced from current events. They have no time to wait for a full news bulletin to start or end. They are occasionally getting their information through secondary informers. But then chances of distorting information by the secondary informer are high.

Despite this being the information age, there are some sections of people in society whose jobs dictate that they remain distanced from current events. They have no time to wait for a full news bulletin to start or end.

They are occasionally getting their information through secondary informers.

But then chances of distorting information by the secondary informer are high.

Due to the nature of their work, motorcyclists rarely have access to the radio and few of them can afford television sets, so they are seldom abreast with current issues.

Cyclists are no exception. But unlike motorcyclists that were handed a ban on portable radios, cyclists aren’t permitted in busy areas. They are usually confined to fodder roads.

Even with television sets or radios at home, they rarely give them due attention because the daily routine of early rising and working into the late hours of the night.

They return home just to kick off their shoes and immediately go to sleep. They mostly eat from restaurants. And wake up the next day to confront the struggle against the vicious cycle of poverty.

Yet today, information is increasingly becoming the lifeline of every individual or business.

Information is a daily feed like food, thus surpassing health services that are infrequently sought.

Motorists and cyclists are probably the least informed in Rwanda.It wasn’t like this in the past.

In the past, motorcyclists improvised by carrying portable radios but this was short lived as the law enforcers citing increased risk of accidents banned them.

Over the years, the number of times they listen to news has reduced.

And gradually motorcyclists have decided to give up on being informed through the media.

“It is four years ago that the police banned all the radios we were carrying. They said that the radios were distracting and could cause accidents,” said Baptist Bagaragaza, a commercial motorcyclist, of six years, who before the ban carried around a small fm radio.  

However, cyclists unable to purchase bicycles fitted with radios resorted to manually fasten radios on their bicycles. They use elastic material and tie them to a bicycle part of their convenience.

Alex Sebukima one of the commercial cyclists without a radio operating in Kicukiro district, said that they sometimes get to listen to their workmates manually fixed radios. It is rare, though possible when the radio owners are briefly off the road waiting for clients.

“I don’t have a radio, but sometimes get to listen to those that my friends have,” said Sebukima.

Unlike the commercial cyclists, the commercial motorists closer to more busy areas, are under police watch and therefore can’t risk having radios. The motorists can be seen waiting in designated parking loosely conversing and more on the look out for clients.

So it is important, that some have to kill the boredom by falling into conversation if fellow motorcyclists are within proximity.

“It was done four years ago, and now we can’t carry the radios and rarely listen to music,” said Bagaragaza.

With the police ban and their strong foothold to ensure vigilant implementation, four years ago the habit of carrying around radios phased out and the motorcyclists’ interest to listen to current events over the radio also dwindled.

Before the ban, Bagaragaza’s radio was inadvertently taken by a passenger and he hasn’t carried one since then.

But he says years after the ban, passengers still ask him to tune in to news.

“I tell them I don’t have one and the police banned them anyway,” he said.

In a rigorous daily search for a better livelihood, Bagaragaza doesn’t seem to attach significance to a radio or to current issues.

By 5:00am, Bagaragaza is up to start the days’ hustle and returns past midnight worn out.

Unlike the motorcycles, bicycles didn’t suffer the ban on radios. Despite the ban few commercial cyclists carry them around. 

At one of the waiting areas on the road leading to a place called Centre in Kicukiro district, where commercial cyclists position their bikes to get customers, Karoli Nshimimana estimated that out of a hundred cyclists you find only 10 having radios.

Despite rarely listening to games on radio and direct participation, Sebukima claimed that he is passionate about football but rarely gets to listen to it. 

One would also doubt the enjoyment or quality of information within their conversations or the variety of topics discussed.

Sebukima, says that though rarely doe he engage in conversation, he gets information about the games from friends who own radios or get access to them.

There are 9000 commercial motorcyclists as revealed by ASSETAMORWA the association that brings them together but the number of the cyclists is unknown.

Ends