Meet Naume: Kampala (and Tugende’s!) First Female Boda Boda Driver

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Naume Awero on her first motorcycle, which she bought with help from an employer and a bank. See Naume on her new Tugende motorcycle at the bottom of the post. (Photo: Cassandra McColman).

Editor’s note: Long before Naume Awero was featured in a (terrific) October 13 Daily Monitor story, intrepid Tugende intern Cassandra McColman bonded with Naume and wrote a blog post for Tugende’s site. Due a terrible, unresponsive editor…cough…the Monitor published before Tugende’s boda boda blog. Still, Cassandra’s piece is great, and not only were we planning to run it anyway, we are proud to announce that on October 25, Naume became a Tugende customer!

This couldn’t have happened without Naume’s brave pioneering or Cassandra’s incredible recruiting. We are excited to help Naume on her path to owning a second motorcycle. When I spoke to her today, Naume asked that we share her phone number so that those of you in Kampala can call her for rides–she’s based near Kamowkya market: 0782 247 839. (We’ll remove it if she gets any strange calls). I also asked her why she named her kids Saddam and Gaddafi–my favorite detail from the Monitor story. Her answer: “I wanted to show that they were tough like their mother.” 

Enjoy Cassandra’s full article below. –Michael Wilkerson

One Tough Mother

by Cassandra McColman

The streets of Kampala are constantly congested with cars and taxis locked in endless jams, but somehow the city’s more than 100,000 boda boda drivers navigate the traffic to deliver passengers to their destinations. Driving a boda boda can be a dangerous profession, with accidents reported every week. Cultural pressures, busy streets and uncertain passengers scare most women away, but Naume Awero, 25,  is trying to change that.

“When you’re interested in  something  you should put all your mind to it and you should learn it,” Naume told me in September. I met her during my Tugende internship, and by the end of the summer was hiring her to drive me almost every day.

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