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Why educated young men in Eldoret end up being bodaboda operators

Edward Kosut
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Bodaboda riders involved in a road accident. [Source/Edward Kosut]

Uasin Gishu county just like any other part of the country has seen a rise of bodaboda riders over the recent years.

It's no doubt that the sector is now a source of jobs to hundreds of youths in the country. 

Dennis Kiplimo who hails from Nandi county says even though he sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) his parents' poverty levels could not allow him to join a tertiary institution.

“I scored C- (minus) in my local school, my parents could not afford to pay my school fees for college. I had to option but to sell a piece of land to buy a motorbike for bodaboda,” Kiplimo revealed adding that most the bodaboda riders in town are unemployed scholars.

Paul Yator, a bodaboda rider in Eldoret town who graduated in 2017 from Kisii University with bachelors in Education said that the unemployment rate has gone up forcing youths to seek self-employment avenues to sustain them.

“All bodaboda riders are not illiterate, we have got people holding diplomas in various professions but those academic certificates have been rendered useless as they are not serving the intended purpose,” said Yator who has been riding bodaboda for the last one year.

Local university lecturer Milton Otieno argues that Kenyan tertiary institutions produce knowledge-resourceful men and women expecting to get jobs relevant to their course description, only to be discouraged and eventually ending up doing odd jobs.

“Colleges and universities produce resourceful young people only to turn into peculiar jobs, the government should consider ways to support youths to tap ready-made skills tailored to better nation’s future,” Otieno said claiming that the youth opt for bodaboda since it’s a lucrative business in Kenya. 


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-Edward Kosut

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