Deaf Boda boda Riders Rising Above Disability

Different forms of disabilities have been seen as a hindrance to many people’s inability to undertake their normal duties.

However, many people have risen above their disabilities, challenging others to make the most of what the have. 

In Ng’araria area in the heart of Murang'a County, Mike Ng’ang’a who was born with a hearing disability is one among three siblings who always had to rely on other people for help, before realising the ability in him.

Boda boda operator Mike Ng'ang'a interacts with a customer at Ng'araria, Murang'a county

In an interview with Inooro TV on Thursday, February 13, Mike, through a sign language interpreter, gave a detailed story of how he was trained as a boda boda rider alongside his two deaf brothers who later moved to operate in Thika. 

Mike expressed his love for the job that has enabled him to cater for his family, a wife and three children.

“In my family, three of us are deaf and have always made a living from riding boda bodas. As a deaf person, I pass through a lot. 

“I sometimes meet passengers who may take advantage of my condition and even take away my hard-earned money. However, many passengers are good and have embraced us despite the condition,” remarked Mike.

According to a colleague who has also been his friend for many years, the rider is devoted in his work and has always proved to be a preference for many passengers.

“In the year 2000, he had a hotel in Ng’araria Shopping Centre and operated it for some time. He later bought a motorcycle after earning enough money from the hotel. I have always known him to be a hard worker.

“Although it was a challenge convincing anyone to board his motorcycle, residents later came to appreciate him and always go for him,” remarked the colleague.

Through social media platforms, locals communicate to Mike and when a need arises and his friends also come in handy.

“He has always managed to use social media video platforms like WhatsApp and through this, he communicates to people through sign language.

“Sometimes his customer calls and we pick the phone on his behalf and give him the details of the location of the customer,” added the colleague.

Mike also explained that he had a problem relating with traffic police in the area, but they later understood his condition and allowed him to continue with his normal duties while following the set regulations.

Boda boda operator Mike Ng'ang'a interacts with his family at Ng'araria, Murang'a county
Boda boda operator Mike Ng'ang'a during a media interview at Ng'araria, Murang'a county