Recently, I was coming from town with a couple of guys after hanging out as we usually do. Time came when we had to depart from the city centre and go home to our cribs. So, I went home with one of my friends. We decided to take public means as usual.
The squeezing that almost gets your eye balls out, the stretching and thieving, in these taxis are very common acts, just like going to church on Sunday.
The funny thing about thieving is that; it seems to be done by some classic guys, wearing really chic… but with contagious intentions. This forces you to hold onto your pockets and let the people drive you inside in the squeezing motion.
Whew!! At last, we found ourselves in the mathree (taxi), which drove off at once. On our way, some local music was playing softly in the background; some people were jazzing sarcastically, some lady who seemed to be Congolese was complaining about why they had stepped on her foot, the conductor was clarifying the prices so that no body messes with him and, we reached at one stage where a lady boarded the taxi carrying a baby on her back; she didn’t seem so much of an urban person but she looked confident and seemed to know what she was doing. then, an old man followed, he looked to be in his late 60s.
Little did I notice that an argument had broken between her (woman with a baby) and the taxi conductor. It drew every passenger’s attention, including mine because my ears were raised like a rabbit’s as I didn’t want to miss a word.
The problem had been that the conductor was vulgar in his words; I guess being harsh was part of his DNA. Lol.
He had said to her: “Do you think this is your sitting room that you enter slowly and then start feeding you baby, who is even shouting for us (crying)?”
People uttered out so many responses, they were wondering the discipline of the youth of today, their verbal morals; (they put “man” in every sentence), no respect of older people, their clothes expose half of their bodies, most of their music has no message, and they later concluded that the youth’s morals are not promising.
Hearing this, the old man whose demeanor conferred a sense of dignity on the whole affair nodded his head and said, ”what a demerit!!”
I and my friend shrunk in our seats pretending we weren’t hearing, wondering how a simple phrase broke out what was in the minds of people. By then, I was praying that I get to my destination, finally that prayer was answered. I said bye to my friend and got out, surprisingly the old man was getting out too.
I approached the man with complexities; he immediately started saying this to me: ”My son, listen to my words, this perverted generation makes me think a lot, I wonder how many patriotic heroes we will have, many are disrespectful, your street language, even your Kinyarwanda leaks!!!
I don’t deny that we are in 21st century and you have to style up but stick to the core values of life and your country in discipline, respect, patriotism, unity and hard work to develop your motherland. Who do you think will do it? It’s you!!”
I was grateful I had this talk, and I got the message he wanted to convey…I didn’t comment. I went home and reflected on his words wondering if his words were true. What do you think? Remember this, “A wise man’s actions speak for himself.”
The author is a S.6 student at Lycee De Kigali Secondary School.