“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein
I am quite sure most of us have used a taxi at least once in our lives. You know a taxi,the car that does not take you somewhere for free.There are some rides that you love and others that you don’t, like if there was a way to jump out of the car before ‘pa koki‘ comes in and squeezes you to death you would but you need to get home. Or ‘mami cassava’ comes in all sweaty and smears it all over your arm(you do not know why you wore a sleeveless blouse that day.)
The invention of the mobile taxi came with the smart technology and since people do not carry cash anymore they figured people won’t be able to pay taxi drivers, and switched to mobile payments.In Cameroon,you could stand on the road for years,and all taxis approaching are not going your direction.That sucks.With uber or lyft,you can call an available taxi(and any type you want too!)to where you are.It is obviously very expensive but isn’t that the price for smartness?
It is for countries that have internet services, not MTN,ORANGE nor CAMTEL in Cameroon where you cannot even watch a video on whatsapp because it takes ages to download, or it keeps reconnecting calls or your data just expires right before your eyes, when you are sure you had enough data.Plus when Cameroon will have readable GPS and available cars in good condition,maybe then but for now who needs uber in Cameroon when we have “okada” our fancy name for motorcycles, to take you to your doorstep no matter how rugged the road is? A motorcycle that will take you to all the corners the taxi refused going no matter the weather? *giggles.
Unforunately, I have no female stories from Cameroon because the whole transportation industry was male dominated, I tell you from the car wash,to the mechanics to the drivers to the CEO’s were all men.Thank goodness things are changing now and women are becoming more active in the transport business,so you definitely will hear stories about that.On Twitter however I see incredible stories about women driving “keke” and taxis,motorcycles and trucks for a living. More courage to women doing jobs that were labeled “only for men.”
I am sure most women have been sexually targeted in taxis.Touched,spoken to,taken somewhere unconsented to.There are so many stories to tell and I would love if you could share your stories with me in the comment section!
I was standing outside the bonamoussadi council office, Douala when it started drizzling,not wanting to get wet I quickly jumped into the next available taxi inattentive to the state of the car.Oddly when I was about to get in, a man stepped out;one of the passengers obviously telling me to go in since he will be alighting before me and wouldnt want to cause me any inconvenience.Well let’s be clear here “DO NOT EVER DO THAT!” especially if there is another man on the other side meaning you will be squashed. If they insist,take another ride,better get soaked in rain than harmed.I took the risk and went it,there was another man in the front seat ,both of us at the back plus the driver.Conversation started like this (translating to English from french).
Driver: Goodevening Madam. i just saved you from a serious soak!
Me(fake smiling because his taxi smelled so musty i could not breathe,plus the Douala heat)Yeah you did.
It seems they were actually in the middle of a conversation and i just got dragged into it when one of the men asked me a question.
Front seat man:All these “panthers” out here sucking men dry, are you one of them my beautiful girl?
Ok people at this point I just wanted to get home and did not want to engage with illiterates whose only interest is codswallop.(panthers means sugarbaby or any young lady)I did not respond and just kept looking out the window slightly smiling to show that I was not completely ignoring them.
Back seat man:”Why aren’t you answering? Or are we not your type?”Then he started talking to the men in the front seat “Don’t mind these girls,they always want us to beg or cajole them.We have women begging us now.”
LOL, I do not know why men think women are always playing hard to get when they do not want to talk to them.Its the past mentality, many men always persisted and women gave in.By the way the conversation in the taxi quickly went south.
Front seat man:”Most of the younger ones do not even take care of their bodies the way the older ones do.I had sex with a 40 year old and she was so good.Her vagina was smooth and smell free with a smooth body.Not like some young ones that have body odour and strong vaginal odours.”Then he turned to me “You better take care of yourself too.”
Imagine being in a taxi with three older men talking about women and their privates.I quickly alighted before my destination because your girl could not obviously spend her energy trying to explain to these over 45year old men that their opinions are not important.
In most African countries and NON-african countries …i honestly do not want to say all.Women are viewed as “the rib”not as complete human beings made like men.They are second-class,unbelonging perishables.Even women perpetuate this story,about how you have no name or nation until you get married.So your body and your whole life has no use,because when you will have kids you will need to sacrifice your lasr drop of blood to raise them.
In effect, always becareful when entering a taxi.If it does not feel right,please do not enter, or alight once you feel uncomfortable. If you are already in, you can text the name and car number of the taxi to a friends.You can also place a call to someone the entire journey to avoid you getting into useless conversations. Stay Safe.