11 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE GHANAIAN TROTRO MATE ( OLD COLONIAL SYSTEMS OPERATE AND HANG INSIDE GHANA).
The Trotro is Ghana’s most cherished commercial vehicle and the cheapest too.
One person who makes a Trotro ride interesting is the conductor popularly referred to as the driver’s mate. Here are some few facts about Trotro mates you need to know.
1. Minding Their Own Business
Whenever a fight breaks out in a trotro, one person who is very good at ignoring everything that’s going on is the driver’s mate. So long as the fight is not about him and it’s between passengers, he can pretend as if he’s not even part of the vehicle. That’s when he’ll decide to stretch his neck out the window to scout for passengers or if the car is full, he decides to count his money.
2. Tear Gas Armpit
If there is one horrible thing about trotro mates, it’s the fact that they hate bathing before starting work, so if you’re not lucky and you’re sitting right in the front row and it’s time for him to take his money, you should know you will be smelling his armpit and that is enough to suffocate you for life.
3. Hanging On The Vehicle With Dexterity
Only God knows how they learn to do that. They have the skill of hanging on buses and their drivers knowing this can take off before they even get the chance to board but before you know it, they are sitting right next to you. They also alight even before the car hits a complete stop with skills of a cat.
4. Selling Their Seats
Every mate has a seat in the bus meant for them, but they never use it, because they always sell it to passengers and hang by the bus using the fare collection as an excuse. That’s when they decide to baptise us with their armpit.
5. No Change Trick
After paying your fare in a Trotro, the mate tells you there is no change so wait a while, this is not always true. Sometimes, there’s change, but they do so, so you will forget and it becomes their bonus. To outwit them, ask him to bring back what you gave him so you can give him a lesser denomination and after taking it, tell him when he gets change then you give it to him. You’ll be amazed how he’ll conjure your change immediately for you.
They are the best helpers you can find around, not all of them though. They help carry your baby, your bag, assist older women to get on board the vehicle and it is one thing they really need to be applauded for.
7. Experts At Insults
You dare not start a fight with the driver’s mate, you won’t win. Some really have sharp tongues and have no respect for anybody and can dress you with insults from head to toe. No matter your status, gender, age etc., when you cross them, they’ll not spare you.
8. Unique Voice For Passenger Scouting
Only God knows where they get the voice to scout for passengers. They can shout as if they are using a microphone and they never get tired or so it seems.
9. Naming Of Places
Most of the names of places you hear in the country were named by Trotro mates. Even if the government decides to do the naming, they will also give it their own version. For instance, Circle has been changed to “serk”.
They are the “mechanics” of the car although it is not their profession. They buy petrol, suck out petrol from the engine, push the car, chock the car, pour water into the radiator when it is overheating, tie parts of the vehicle which are falling off and they fix the door of the car all the time.
Many people, especially women, look down upon Trotro mates, but it will surprise you to know that they make more money than a lot of people in white collar jobs. Some make as high as ¢100.00 a day, depending on the vehicle and route they are working on. Now multiply that by thirty days because they even work on Saturday and Sundays, we are looking at ¢3,000 a month here. Unfortunately, they are not good at saving money so they spend as it comes.
BY KWAKU DARKO, FROM OMGVOICE.
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