A few weeks ago, in the middle of the hot sun that shone like the rains would never come, I stood in wait for a taxi on one of the streets of Kampala. I was going to Mukono a few kilometres out of town to meet with my long-time friend. Daniel often calls me for a cup of tea when he is in need of my counsel on something, mostly, which girl is best out of the several he has seen in a week.
And unrighteous as it sounds, I always oblige to my friend’s call for assistance on the matter. But this is not to say I’m worse a criminal on issues to do with advising him to leave one girl for another but because I wait for the day his eyes will open and he realises that no woman can fully satisfy your expectations but you need to make up your mind and stick to one.
So, that being my reason for travelling, I anxiously boarded a taxi, which unfortunately, made me vow never to get into taxis whose windows cannot open.
At the beginning of the journey, it was all joy until I got in, excited to get a breath of fresh air to cool the heat in my body only to realise the window could not be opened; it was permanently fixed! To make matters worse, the car was a DMC (in dangerous mechanical condition).
What shocked me even more was that the rest of the passengers looked calm as though nothing was out of place. It would have been insolent to react to something that others did not seem to bother about, but for a person as keen as I am on motor vehicle basics, this car was not fit for travel.
This vehicle should have long gone off the road, but its owner did not seem to notice its constant grumbles characterised by hoarse coughs up and down the road, announcing that it was way past its retirement stage.
As the conductor shouted out to prospective passengers to get in this dilapidated thing, I remembered my local preacher’s words. It was a lesson in humility and that Sunday, I had just happened to accidentally pass by the churchyard when he told me he was waiting to assign me the first reading. I remembered I had told him I wasn’t ready for the task and he had told me nothing happens by mistake.
In fact, he gave me a reading that taught me I was the worst sinner as it said; Christ came for the sinners of whom I am the chief. He had said it is impossible that the grace of God starts with minors for a change.
It seeks those with the greatest impact on the lives of others to cause change through them. And so I pondered on what to say to the conductor in regard to the condition of the taxi without a decisive starting point. Thankfully, an old man and the only one of his age in the taxi, burst up in rage to the conductor over the windows.
“Naye mulowooza mutwala ki, amadirisa ge wamwe tegagula?” he burst out, asking the conductor why the windows were not opening.
Instead, the conductor took this for an insult and asked the old man whether he fully understood the use of windows. I have always known windows to be used for light and aeration but the conductor said theirs were for decoration.
After listening to this, I lost interest in engaging in the heated argument that had ensued between him and the old man.
The simple theory I developed was a right thinking person drives the right vehicle. And a right vehicle doesn’t mean a special type of vehicle but the maintenance of the vehicle. All public vehicles should be well maintained to offer comfortable service to people. I may be that chief sinner whom God put in that particular one to cause some change like my priest says.