Jinja’s female boda rider gets 14 motorcycles after Monitor story

Some of the 14 motorcycles that were given to Ms Annet Matama following a story in Daily Monitor on June 3. PHOTO/DENIS EDEMA

What you need to know:

Ms Annet Matama says following the publication on June 3, she has been receiving calls from several people

A female security guard, who quit her job and joined the boda boda business after allegedly being sexually harassed by her boss, has received 14 new motorcycles, after Daily Monitor published her story.

Ms Annet Matama says following the publication on June 3, she has been receiving calls from several people.

She, however, says a woman, who introduced herself as Ms Liliane Felix, caught her attention.

“The Mzungu [white] lady (Ms Felix) said she was looking for a female boda boda rider and fortunately, there was only me in Jinja City and perhaps the entire Busoga Sub-region,” Ms Matama says.

“She said she wanted to meet me for more business opportunities, and that she wants to assist and support me and other women who are out there to embrace the male-dominated business,” she adds.

Ms Matama says Ms Felix rode from Kampala to meet her and some other women, who wanted to join the business.

The 35-year-old, who holds a Class B permit, says she would only get married to a man who respects her job.

Following her discussion with Ms Felix, Ms Matama formed the Jinja City Ladies Boda Riders Association (LABRA), a registered association with members riding motorcycles in Kamuli, Buyende, Iganga and Jinja City.

She was given 14 motorcycles, worth more than Shs80m, which are fully-registered with insurance, riders’ permits and are under the management of Ms Matama.

She says all the female riders save money to educate their children and sustain their respective families.

Ms Felix is the founder of Kampala-based Women Rising for Africa and Women on Wheels, which was started in 2022 to empower women. Her dream is to create more opportunities, boost the number of female riders for improved safety.

Ms Felix, who described Ms Matama as “an unselfish lady who loves her job”, is optimistic that her team will surpass male boda boda riders in Jinja City.

Mr Henry Kitambula, the deputy resident city commissioner of Jinja South Division, emphasises gender inclusion, saying it is vital to ensure uniform development. He says his office will render support to the riders.

“I know you are going to be tested by clients for your self-confidence and some of them will come to you because of being smarter than male bodas; however, be security cautious,” Mr Kitambula says.

Mr Eria Musobya, the chairperson of Boda boda Riders’ Association, describes Ms Matama as a “determined lady, who wished other ladies the best in the boda boda business”.

 He adds that they have allocated two stages for her colleagues.

Female riders say

Some of the female riders say they want to work between 8am and 4pm, depending on the demand, while others say they want to get specific clients who understand their work schedules.

Ms Maureen Nadega, 23, one of the riders hailing from Kamuli District, urges men to give them a chance to offer their services.

Mr Godfrey Gubi, a husband of one of the female boda boda riders, says he allowed his wife to work because “the world is changing”.