We all saw it coming. It was just a matter of time before SafeBoda, the ‘Uber for Bodaboda’ came over to this side of the pond. But it was the intergration of MPESA credit purchase in the SafeBoda update that really gave it away. Early this week and it was made official, SafeBoda is now in Kenya.
Kenya is going to be a challenging market for SafeBoda. First, Kenyans are a different people. Unlike many parts of the continent where it is okay to ride on motorbikes, Kenyans percieve motorbikes to be a means of transport for the less fortunate in the society. I mean, already, a lot of people depend on bodabodas to commute and many other transport needs, Nairobians however. Also, SafeBoda comes into the market to battle it with the likes of Savvy Rider and Taxify which already has Taxify Boda in both Kenya and Uganda.
Kenya’s Maramoja Transport tried its hands on this business and pulled out. Kenya’s Sendy launched and shut down its boda boda and cab hailing services then later the Kenya Boda Boda association launched its Juu Boda but they are yet to release any numbers to the public.
The Bodaboda sector has had a bad rap for safety and hooligan behaviour of the rider. SafeBoda aims to create a community of boda drivers that value professionalism, road safety and being role models in their community. The market demands a safe, organized and reliable boda-boda industry, whether SafeBoda delivers this remains to be seen.