You know how it is on those boda boda commutes…every once in a while, you end up sharing the journey with someone who seems to be going in the same direction as you, till they make a different turn and you are not. Sometimes it’ll be someone you know so you wave at them and, if the bikes pass close enough, you might even get to say a greeting or two, do a bonga even, or shake hands and hug if you are feeling brave/stupid enough. Hopefully, your bikes will go their separate ways and that will be the end and you can continue your journey in peace, or terror, depending on how suicidal your bike rider is feeling at that moment. The other desirable alternative is one of your boda’s will be faster than the other and as such there will be a sizeable distance between the two of you and whoever is behind can observe the other or the both of you can enjoy the views rushing by as your bike carries you to your destination/death.
But then, there are those times when fate/the bike riders assume you guys want to do some serious catching up and will then proceed to move at the same pace, side by side. This is when things get awkward, for me anyway. If you are not in my proggie for the day, the most I am usually capable of is a 2-minute conversation were we pretend like we care about what’s going on in each other’s lives and then move on. Now, when you find yourself in this bike situation, things can get awkward pretty fast.
Already, you’ve given the other person your ka jambo, and a (fake) smile, depending on how well you know each other. But now, you are forced to make conversation and ask after the kids, plus the goats, or whatever. Or even worse, pretend that you don’t realise that you are next to each other and look in any other direction other than the one where their boda is. This must be one of the torture techniques they use in hell.
But that’s not even the kb I’d come to give today. Today I want to tell you about the most elegant woman I’ve ever seen riding a boda. I was coming from Entebbe Road sides and was cruising along the stretch between Katwe and Queens Tower. My boda guy climbed a hump at a slightly high speed and I found myself suspended mid-air for a bit before reconnecting with my passenger seat at the other end of the hump. I could have flown off but one of my hands was clutching the bars behind me so that kept me on the bike.
But while mid-air, a second boda flew past us with a boda-taking angel on it. Like you already have wings you goddess so what on earth are you doing on a boda. Maybe she is a subscriber to ‘when in Rome…’ She was a vision to behold. Symmetrical face with the gentlest of features, hair tied behind into a bun and without a strand out of place despite the high speed at which the boda was moving, neck so long I was sure she could easily turn it to look directly behind her without breaking a sweat, ample bosom with just the right amount of cleavage on display which was currently mid bounce thanks to the impact of the hump, booty so blessed it was overflowing off the boda seat, and, thanks to the short skirt she was wearing, legs on display, legs so magnificent they didn’t even have any scars on them. Our eyes met for a brief second mid-air and time froze as her fellow angels sang ‘Hallelujah!’
Because her boda was travelling at a higher speed, she was tossed higher in the air than I was. But, first off, she was sitting the kikazi style (that’s, for those that might now know, perpendicular to the bike and rider as opposed to kisajja which is parallel) and she also wasn’t holding onto any bars. Her hands were holding the handle of her designer bag which was on her laps. Delicately holding, not that grip most women use because they are afraid of thieves. Despite all this, she managed to disobey all the laws of physics and didn’t fall off the bike like I expected. Boss! This just went to confirm my theory that she was an angel coz only they can defy physics like that. Their bike sped off past ours and I was left eyes wide open, jaw flailing in the wind behind me, and nostrils filled with the sweet scent of her perfume.
But because jam is one of humanity’s equalisers, we caught up with her shortly ahead. Jam, when it’s in its periods, doesn’t want to know whether you are driving a range, kikumi, a random DMC, or even a boda like on that day. You will all stop and wait. I think the president and a few other VVVIP’s are the only ones immune to it thanks to their convoys, considering I’ve been stuck in jam with some convoyed people that didn’t have enough V’s in their VIP.
We slid up next to them, I made eye contact again and tried to say hi but some gibberish came out, probably because my jaw was still trying to catch up and rearrange itself. But because she was too cool like that, she didn’t even give me that ‘OMG you are so weird and creepy’ look females save for occasions like this. My jaw finally caught up with the rest of me and when I was about to say a proper hi, her boda guy took off again and my open mouth caught a cloud of her perfume which left me coughing. Why couldn’t this be one of those times when our bodas stayed next to each other for the entire journey so I could present my manifesto? As I was about to scold my boda guy for not being in class and moving with them when the traffic let up, I noticed her effect on him was even worse than mine and he was in a reverie of sorts. My nudging and the hooting of the other bodas and vehicles behind us brought him back to reality and we set off.
I was looking at her boda as it moved in front of us. Even though we’d been released, it was one of those slow movements when all the bodas are in single file squeezing past the cars via the side of the road. Her boda guy though was reckless. He was weaving in and out of cars, doing all kinds of sudden breaking, hitting potholes, climbing pavements and basically being a dick. Her, she was just stoically seated, seemingly and literally unshook by all his theatrics. Kumbe me I was almost jumping off my boda and running after hers so I could lift her off and carry her safely to her destination coz I couldn’t handle the bunkenks of seeing her survive so many near-death experiences in such a short time.
Eventually, we caught up with them again right at Queens Tower. If any of you have used Entebbe road in the morning, you know the police sometimes stop cars coming from out of town to let taxis coming from the park use both ends of the road. This is one of the few times bodas rarely try to manoeuvre their way because the taxis drive that small stretch on their worst behaviour. Like, yeah, they are the undisputed worst drivers on the roads but on that small stretch, it’s like their bad driving is on steroids. Surprised there hasn’t been a pile up yet.
So, there we are waiting for the taxis to finish with their madness and I am unable to continue my efforts at making moves because there are like 4 bodas between me and her and she’s looking in a different direction, so I chose to just appreciate her serene appearance from a distance, me and my boda guy plus everyone else, it seemed. What a beauty! She didn’t belong on bodas like the rest of us mere mortals. I felt a swelling of inspiration in my heart. I needed to look for an Abbot and any other physics books I could find and figure out how to make a flying vehicle for her. Maybe her wings had been clipped by smugglers and I was the one that would help her fly again using good ol’ physics and mechanics.
While I was still contemplating all this, they stopped the taxis and released traffic from our end. But we were all looking at the angel so the first person to move was the boda chap that was ferrying her. He engaged that gear 1 so hard and took off in his bad riding ways. But the inertia was way too much that the front wheel went up in the air slightly and the back wheel burnt some rubber on the tarmac, sending a cloud of smoke and dust into the air. All of this led to what I’d previously thought impossible happening. The angel fell off the bike.
It was a sight to behold. Slow motion kicked in. The boda jutted forward. She stayed suspended mid-air in her immaculate posture. Like in the cartoons when one of the characters runs off a cliff and remains running mid-air before realising there’s no longer any solid ground below them, after which he falls down. Yeah, she was suspended mid-air like that. We all held our collective breaths. She started descending, but with the same composure. Like she was a mannequin. As she approached the ground, physics decided it definitely wanted to be a part of this action. Her fall started to stretch out and her head and back started moving backwards. The slow-motion entered gear 2 to allow us to observe the filimu even better. One heel flew off her foot and made its way to the one boda guy that wasn’t wearing a helmet where it made impact with his nkomo. As if to punish him for not wearing protection. The second one just flew straight up to the sky.
At this point, I realised my boda guy was moving again coz I was having to turn my neck backwards to view the action. In one swift motion, I hoisted myself into the air with one of my hands that was holding the bars and flipped my sitting position so I was now sitting facing backwards, getting the full action. While I was changing position, my other hand got my phone out of the pocket and slid the camera icon across so that by the time I landed in my VIP viewing position, the camera was ready to record the rest of the action.
The other bodas had also started moving by now and it was like she had created a force field because they were all fidgeting to go around her. Her descent continued with the loss of her handbag which flew out of her hands which were now above her suspended body, flailing for some kind of balance. One of the boda guys who, evidently, doubled as a thief as a side hustle broke free of the slow motion, swung his boda towards her with one hand while the other hand stretched and caught the bag before he sped off before anyone else could process what had just happened and could also break free of the slow motion and chase after him.
When she finally made impact with the ground, her ample buttocks where the point of impact and she bounced on them creating an ample-buttock shaped pothole and causing all the dust on the road to rise one meter high. A few windshields and side mirrors even cracked. The force of the fall caused her bunned hair to unravel and spread out like she was swinging it around for a hair products commercial. I’ll give her this though, she didn’t make any of those panicky noises we usually make when we are falling. She just fell without making a sound. I figure I know that reason, we couldn’t handle her angelic voice. Her angelic cries. She saved us the burden of knowing what an angel crying out for help is like.
When she was about to make impact with the ground again, my suspicions that she was an angel were confirmed. Her colleagues in heaven that had sang ‘Hallelujah’ when I first set eyes on her burst into song again. It was much louder this time round. And a split second before she touched the ground again, they appeared, four of them in all their heavenly glory, they swooped in, grabbed her and shot up to the sky with her. As she was raised to the sky, her aura also took on a more ethereal nature and her clothes burst off her to reveal a white glowing angelic robe. Her wings finally decided to make an appearance and burst out of her back and spread wide. Once her full angelic presence had revealed itself, her and her heaven choir mates gave us one more musical ‘Hallelujah’ before they disappeared into the clouds in an explosion of colour, light and sweetness.
As my boda guy sped away from the scene, I did another flip to rearrange myself on the boda and looked at my phone to stop the recording and replay it so I could see if what I’d just witnessed was real. That’s when I realised I hadn’t pressed the record button. I wanted to post the video to accompany this story but because of my sloppiness, I cant. You’ll just have to rely on my narrative prowess.
I can’t help but wonder what that thief found in the bag though. What do angels carry in their handbags?