Mphikeledi “Bafo” Dlamini
Every morning we wake and thank almighty that we made through another night still breathing. Take a bath and get ready to face reality. Lets face it, some of us still can’t afford our own vehicles. We rely on taxis to take us to our desired destinations. without hesitation, Leave the house and go to the nearest taxi stop and get a taxi. Arrive safe and on time at work, school or whatever destination it is.
While at work, there is pressure for deadlines. A day is messed up. Its chaile (knock off), we up and leave heading to the taxi rank. Get on a taxi tired and stressed, I come with my stress too and the next person does the same. We all in one taxi minding our own business. The taxi operator drives us all home safe and on time again. We happy we are at our destination.
While in that taxi going home, the operator met with other road users who experienced all the mischief we had in our different places. Our driver does his best to keep us safe, tries his best not to let other mischievous road users endanger our safety. We are not aware of all that because he is trying to be professional and safe for us. Ill be honest here. Not all taxi operators treat us with respect and again not all of them are disrespectful. So lets focus on this normal friendly everyday guy that drives to feed his family. Are we thankful for him getting us to our destination safe?
I understand that we give them funny names like Mageza empompini (the one who wash in a tap) and i also understand that hes doing his best not to be a criminal but to earn a decent living. Those are the same people like me and you. They have families too like us. Like the rest of us, those souls are hardworking and in most cases they wake up very early and go to bed very late. They hardly have time with their families. We happen to be the closest to being their families.
Thinking long and hard as i write this. I happen to have experienced both ends of the stick as a taxi operator and as a passenger i found something interesting. I’i will start with the passenger experience. We (not all) do not respect our public transport, from taxis, buses to trains. We eat and throw the dirt on the floor, even if we find it neat. Smoking is not allowed but you find elderly woman smoking snuff, wipe themselves with tissue then throw it on the floor. We get in a taxi with our problems and take them on the doors, bang them. We come to the rank late (siyaselwa) then we want the operator to drive fast, forgetting that hes carrying our lives. And the most irritating one is get in a taxi at 4h30 in the morning and pay using big notes (R50, R100 & R200). Why cant we try to bring correct fare in the morning to avoid time wasting and bad attitudes? I guess it part of being an Africang
Now let me give you the operator point of view. The taxi is always on time no matter what time it is. Leave your attitude at home so we experience a safe and trouble free journey. Operator need to learn not to hold grudges and learn to use effective way of communication and try not to blame every passenger in a taxi for a mistake done by one or two passengers.They also need to be professional from clothing to handling clients. Bageze njalo ( take regular bath), they are at work after all.
We can complain, talk bad about operators but it remains a fact that they play a major part in our daily life. We need to be thankful for what they are doing and the sooner we revise that we need them as much as they need us, the better. I have to admit that we need to show them how much we appreciate them. They have made and still making our lives better. We need to thank them. Its our duty as carving citizens who use public transport to build them and guide them to be better humans.
Yes i said it.
At the end of the day we need thank taxi drivers ( operators)