Almost everyone that lives or has lived in Uganda has at one point in their travelling used a taxi as a means of transportation. Therefore, you will agree with me when I say that taxi “conductors” are the most annoying Ugandans. What makes it even worse is that they come in different types and locations. Let me explain;
I’ll start with the ones in the city Kampala. The taxi conductors that operate around Kampala and its surrounding villages and towns behave very differently from those that operate outside the city. These ones are rude, extremely abusive and are wholly aggressive. These fellows insult customers and passersby at free will. The degree of these insults defies all morals that society and parents battle to impart in us. These fellows are not ashamed to insult elderly people and this is the most disgusting of their habits. They play by their own rules, respect nobody and don’t really care for anyone as long as they are making money. I remember a story I heard of where a taxi conductor insulted a woman’s baby. He told this lady “nyabo, oli mulungi naye omwana wo afanana gonya.” Translation “Madam, you are very beautiful but your baby looks like a crocodile.” This is the harshest Ugandan ever! How on earth do you heartlessly call out someone’s child in front of an audience? The magnitude of the embarrassment and rage she must have felt is unimaginable.
Then there are those that operate in semi-urban areas of Uganda. These ones are quite well mannered and respectful. But, they don’t value customers’ time. This frustrates me the most about these ones. The last time I was in one of these taxis which was a few days ago, we got to a town and the conductor and the driver disappeared for about 30 minutes. We sat there idle in irritability with nothing to do about it. They showed up later, issuing not apology and just drove off like all was good. Our complaints and demand for an explanation was met with total disregard. This aside, these guys are fairly okay and they care for the customers.
Finally, there are the ones that operate in villages. These one are most well-mannered but lack total regard for their customers. Their taxi vans are authorized to carry 14 passengers but they carry about 31 passengers. They squeeze all of you in there. I am writing this with no exaggeration because this has happened to me. When I travel out of the city I use taxis sometimes and they have packed us like this before. These conductors don’t care how many you are, it’s like they operate on a motto of “NO ONE STAYS BEHIND.” When they meet a new customer, they squeeze the already excess customers to accommodate the new customer. This is extremely annoying because as much as you complain, nothing will be done. Your pleas will fall on deaf ears but what to do? We bear the unpleasant conditions and pray we arrive safely to our destinations.
Therefore, I believe these fellows are THE MOST ANNOYING UGANDANS.