Meet Kenyan Helping 4000 Motorists Beat Traffic Daily at a Fee

  • Gatiba Ndung’u also known as Rada Safi and Rada wa Matatu.
    Gatiba Ndung’u also known as Rada Safi and Rada wa Matatu.
    File
  • Gatiba Ndung’u says that he quit his tout job with a Sacco in Githurai, Nairobi, to focus on his own venture - assisting motorists to beat traffic snarl-ups along the busy Thika Superhighway. 

    Ndung’u, is known by various aliases in Nairobi including Rada Safi and Rada wa Matatu. Rada is a sheng word drawn from Radar - a system used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecrafts, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. 

    On Wednesday, June 1, he told Kenyans.co.ke that his skills and venture are unique as he is the only Nairobi resident helping motorists to beat traffic daily, but at a fee. 

    “I have posters around with my number. Motorists call me. Some have been my clients since I started this job five years ago,” he stated.

    A section of the Thika Superhighway at Allsops
    A section of the Thika Superhighway at Allsops
    Simon Kiragu

    “Others reach out to me through referrals. I not only assist personal drivers but PSVs too. In a day, counting by the matatus (PSVs), I can say that I help over 4,000 drivers and passengers,” he stated in a past interview. 

    Ndung’u has several phones through which he receives phone calls from motorists. Radi Safi, as he is known, operates from a footbridge along Thika Road

    He directs drivers on which routes to take to avoid traffic snarl-ups.  

    Drivers call him to find out which lanes or highways have traffic. He then aids them to navigate via service lanes and other routes. 

    A majority of PSV drivers use him to beat traffic and counter other Sacco drivers rushing to pick commuters from shared termini. 

    “I wanted to leave the tout role at a Sacco based in Githurai. I had no options as I lacked requisite papers, had no experience and didn’t finish school. 

    “When I started this job, people said I was crazy yet I only work six hours a day,” he added. 

    Ndung’u negotiates a fee with the drivers he helps and keeps track of those who contact him via his call log. 

    “I delete the calls from the log after they pay me via mobile money,” he noted.

    “Youths lament that the level of unemployment in Kenya is high yet they have to make money," he concluded while asking youths to try out different ventures. 

    Traffic Police at Nyayo Stadium Round About , Nairobi. Monday, November 14, 2019
    Traffic Police at Nyayo Stadium Round About, Nairobi. Monday, November 14, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke