Protecting Your Melon with Safe Boda


I recently had the opportunity to spend the day with Ugandan startup, Safe Boda. This is what I discovered.

In Kampala, innovative thinking comes in the shape of a helmet. Seeking to be a catalyst for change, local startup Safe Boda has its work cut out for it. Across Uganda, 40% of hospital visits are a result of boda boda accidents, so there is a pressing need for safety-first thinking.


Identifying this glaring need, Safe Boda has committed to working with the Ugandan Red Cross to offer comprehensive first aid and driver training to their growing community of safety conscious bodas. But at the core of Safe Boda is an ethos of community building and empowerment, to work alongside Kampalans to win hearts and most importantly, minds.


The mentality in Uganda is that helmets are an unnecessary inconvenience; they aren’t enforced like in neighbouring Rwanda. In a stunning example of the uphill battle that Safe Boda is attempting to climb, not all Safe Boda customers choose to wear a helmet, even though one is provided free of charge. Some customers think that first aid training and better driving is all the insurance they need.


In response to this kind of thinking, Safe Boda driver Geoffrey scoffs and says, “You see our heads? It’s like a watermelon. When you hold a watermelon in your hands, if it falls, do you know how it looks? That’s how your head will be!”


This is the Safe Boda challenge, to protect your melon. To find out more about Safe Boda, visit the website.


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On Sri Lankan Streets


On Sri Lankan Streets

It cost about 25 cents to ride the bus from Tissamaharama to Tangalle. I took my ticket and sat down towards the back of the bus by an open window. It was late afternoon and the heat was just starting to abate but the humidity was still stifling and I was dying for a breeze.

The bus roared to life, literally and figuratively, all at once. As the key twisted in the ignition, loud, joyful music came pouring out of giant speakers tied to the baggage racks and the journey began. Weaving through dense jungle roads and crowded city streets, the crisp breeze washed over me. For the next 3 hours, I was in sensory overloaded heaven.