10 months ago, Samuel Tipatet was hated and alienated by his fellow Boda Boda operators at the Athi River—Namanga Interchange stage. Today, he has started a fellowship that has brought hope, unity and the word of God to the Boda Boda community around Greatwall Gardens.
The Boda Boda business has taken root in Kenya in a very notable and significant manner. This is because motorcycles have become the affordable means of transport especially in areas where public transport is unavailable. Around Greatwall Gardens, the demand for Boda Boda’s has been on a rise because of the influx of people in the area and many youths have taken advantage of this to get into the business. One of them is Samuel Tipatet, who joined the business in January 2019.
When Tipatet started out at the interchange stage. He noticed that the other riders shared the same stage yet they had no love for each other. Furthermore, he also realised that many of the operators had lost hope because of the difficulties associated with the Boda Boda practice. For that reason, there was a sense of hatred and competition—the rest of the operators alienated Tipatet since he was new and he felt alone.
However, it was Tipatet who came to help his fellow operators when they had challenges. One time when the Boda Boda operators in the area had issues with the police and they were almost being banned from the road, Tipatet is the one who led the team that engaged in dialogue with the cops to resolve the issue. Apart from this incident, Tipatet was at the forefront of trying to solve the problems that the boda boda operators faced on many other occasions.
Having witnessed all these, the other boda boda operators began asking themselves why Tipatet was always helping them and they labelled him “Pastor”. With the other operators now being more receptive, Tipatet suggested that they meet on a weekly basis so that they can tackle some of the problems they face.
Every Monday morning at 8:30 AM, the riders, led by Samuel Tipatet, gather behind Greatwall Gardens in Athi River, for a time of worship before they engage in their usual day-to-day activities. In this gathering, they share scripture, praise, and seek to empower each other.
“I started this to show them that there is hope and they have a future. Personally, I had lost hope in life but when I started attending Swahili Service and I gave my life to the Lord, I felt transformed and felt that like a new person”.
Every Saturday, they also have a merry go round where they visit each other’s in their homes just to find out how their families are doing and to worship together.
“It’s a way of bringing unity and also to show them that there is strength in numbers”
Because of the fellowship, the boda boda operators have become a family, and have been rejuvenated in their work. Furthermore, some of them have accepted the Lord and have started to attend church.