A trotro is the most common commercial transportation means in Ghana. Trotro is also known as “Matatu” in some East and South African countries and “Danfo” in Nigeria.
You cant experience Ghana without jumping in a trotro. The experience in a trotro is a mixed bag of fun, humor, frustration and inspiration unbelievable. If you a writer, struggling for ideas, I will advise you o jump in a trotro and you will be amazed at the myriad of insights you will get from one trotro experience.
Today I want to focus on the trotro drivers, who don’t cease to amaze me every time I encounter them.
It appears you need a fair dose of madness in your makeup in order to push a trotro around town.
The behavior of an average trotro driver is least described as abhorring.
These dudes in whose hands we gladly dole out the custody of our souls in the bid to move from one place to the other are just mad men with enough sanity to control the steering wheel of their rickety cars.
The average trotro driver is no respector of road signs and rules. He does what he likes, crosses you when he feels like, stops in the middle of the road to pick a passenger and expect you to anticipate his “divine rights” to pick passengers anywhere anyhow.
A trotro driver will slow down all of a sudden on a highway and then take a left or a right turn before putting on his traffic indicator instead of the other way round.
The words “maintenance and servicing” is never familiar in the books of the trotro driver. They believe in the cliché ” Why fix it if it is not broke” As long as their vehicles can move, mostly after several attempts to start the car with the strange combination of hanging cables below the steering wheels and adjustments in the bonnet, they are able to get these rickety cars to puff one more time.
These cars never hesitate to show their displeasure with the chronic maltreatment meted out to them by their drivers. Their protest is in the form of strangely colored thick smokes and hissing noises only heard in horror films.
When you are in a trotro, the car can get spoilt in the middle of the road and normally getting your right change back to pick another car is another prayer topic on its own.
If you are unfortunate and you drive behind one of these cars, you will be fed with a tasty meal of carbon monoxide, an early grave advocate which will kill you before you even know it.
What I find amazing is the seemingly solidarity and immense love shown to these trotro drivers by our police men, the custodians and enforcers of our sacred laws.
With an amount of GHs 5( just being nice), a trotro driver can secure the sympathy of our uniformed men by the roadside.- to allow them to drive the moving coffins just one more time.
After all if anything happens, only a few Ghanaians will die and the world moves on isn’t it Mr. Policeman? What if the few dead people were your wife, parents and children? will it still be a big deal?
Our DVLA colleagues also don’t help matters. I am yet to understand the complex algorithm used to approve these near death cars as road worthy. After all our roads are not even car worthy so why should the DVLA bother to do the right thing?
A trotro driver’s greatest allergy is someone driving a private car. They are very mean in their dealings with the private car owners. They wont hesitate to dish out a few tons of insults to private car owners at the least provocation. The private car owner is seen as been among the few spoilt fortunate few shielded from the true issues of life which they the trotro drivers go through everyday.
Let a trotro driver dent a private man’s car and he will beg profusely for mercy but let a private car scratch a trotro, and be sure of hell ,fire and brimstone.
If you buy a car and hand it over to a trotro driver, you can bet that every week, something will get damaged , affecting the agreed daily revenue.
These countless faults does not however impact their ability to eat that Fufu with “akrantie” soup everyday.
Strangely if you go into a “work and pay” contract( where the car becomes theirs after a number of years of consistent sales accountability) with these trotro drivers, all the faults on the car will disappear ! Strange Yeah?
The only time a trotro driver cares about his passengers is when he wants them to board his vehicle. He is even prepared to stop in the middle of the road to pick his passengers. After taking their monies ,he cant wait to get them out of his vehicle so that he can pick new passengers!
Are you a leader exhibiting any of these trotro mentality,? Then amend your ways because you and your followers are going nowhere.
Think and reflect on these
From the desk of ROL