Honestly this whole marking territory thing reminds me of my high school days. I remember when in my A-level as senior sixes, we conquered the whole A-level block.
Only a few known senior fives did hang around the place. As for the senior one lads looking at the building was a crime! The same is true on some of our city streets.
Vendors, Taxi drivers, motorcyclists, street kids, brokers, the so-called street gangs and more, the list is endless. These are the kind of people you will meet in town working in their supposed territories around town.
Should they mistake you to be in that category and you are not their colleague for example; a taxi conductor will not tolerate a motorcyclist camping in his stage.
Sometimes, fights break out because the competition to make money is great.
Such circus is what happens in the streets of Kigali and other busy working places.
Should you doubt me, go to the Kimironko taxi park. The smaller motor bikes cannot be in the same station as the slightly bigger ones. Why? They claim that’s their territory and the smaller ones can station closer to the rubbish dump outside the market.
The same goes on with the commuter taxi and special hire drivers. They can never be in the same place. Not even parking in one spot there for an hour is acceptable.
Several idle guys will keep interrogating you pretending to be concerned about your welfare, but when they find out that you are a rogue cab-driver searching for a customer, they will chase you away.
Saudi, one special hire driver utters out that they cannot be in the same place with commuter taxis because they are cheaper than theirs, so they tend to take away their customers.
“We cannot be in the same working place, besides it breeds misunderstandings and fights among us,” he claims.
However, one cannot fully understand the battle of territories until they get to a rowdy place. Go to places like Nyamirambo, there are certain streets you cannot tread if you don’t buy or sell drugs.
More like, if you are not a business partner or colleague in their unlawful business, you are not permitted to be stepping on so-called territory.
The same is true at Giporoso; if you walked around the place after 8:00 p.m, there are several little groups of idlers on the street corners.
Barely doing nothing but just standing, talking that’s all yet they are untidily dressed.
When it comes to language, unless you precisely understand decoded Kinyarwanda slang, you will do or say nothing, at all, about what they do. If you don’t speak like they do or use their language then you are not from around.
The only word you will hear from them as they send you off is, “genda sha!!”(Go away). That is their street and you can barely do a thing about it.
Besides the taxi and motorcyclists, are the Rwandatel, MTN and TIGO airtime vendors who are perpetually at loggerheads on the streets. They forever fight to conquer operating space.
This simply implies that as much as we claim to be independent, it is human nature that man is forever at war for territory. I deliberately left out marking boundaries among couples because that altogether is another article.