Hit the ground running, literally! – Advice from a trotro mate

This is one of the days I’m the only person on the bus. Very few passengers to pick up. About 10pm. So I struck a conversation with the mate. I guess you are not surprised I wanted to know if I could be a mate for a day and what things I needed to know.

Fast forward>>>>> 10mins into the conversation

“….and please don’t jump out of the trotro until it comes to a stop”. He said, smiling and shaking his head.

“What is funny?” I asked. And he said “I remember my first experience of trying to get off this bus whiles it was in motion and what happened to me”.

I was wondering at this point because that was one thing I really love to see mates do – jumping off a moving trotro and cantering and then stopping next to the trotro just when it comes to a stop – The Trotro Mate Stunt.
And it is always beautiful! Something I’ll definitely love to do.

I didn’t know what could go wrong when executing this move, I only figured it would take time to make it look good.

What he told me was a sad story but I couldn’t help laughing with him in the end, after all he’d come to terms with his experience and could see the lighter side of it.

So he narrates his story:

“I planned on getting off the bus at the Odorkor bus stop like the other mates always do. I’d already picked my spot and decided to do a short distance until I was good enough and then show the driver the skills I’d picked up” “Things didn’t exactly go as planned. You can’t believe my surprise when I fell flat on my face as soon as i jumped off the bus” “Here I was, lying flat in the streets of Accra when no one had pushed me out of the bus” “I quickly got up, dusted myself, (discovered a few bruises on my knees and elbows and a small cut on my chin, with my eyes smarting and my ears singing) and run to open the door for the passengers, all this while trying to ignore the jeers and laughter from the few ‘senior’ mates who had seen the whole spectacle. It was not so painful as it was shocking for me”.

“But this is no laughing matter”, I said, after his vivid narration. “Were you hurt badly?”

“Oh no, just a few scratches. Last time a similar thing happened to one of the new mates at the station. ” [laughing and shaking his head]

At this point I had lighten up and was laughing heartily with him and before I could ask more questions, the bus had gotten to my junction……..

……And with that he executed an excellent Trotro Mate Stunt, opened the door with a flourish and said.



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  1. #1 by Graham Knight on September 19, 2010 - 1:29 pm

    I’m often on the edge of my seat when the mates perform these daredevil stunts. But your initial description made me think of a beautiful graceful ballet and that’s how I always want to think of it!

    • #2 by hollatainment on September 19, 2010 - 3:06 pm

      As it should be. Except there is always what you call a bad day at work. The one day it just doesn’t go too well.

  2. #3 by KY on September 19, 2010 - 1:29 pm



  3. #4 by Daixy on September 19, 2010 - 1:31 pm

    I like this mate. Sounds like a real pleasant chap 🙂 This reminds me of the convos I used to share with taxi drivers when they drove me home late from work. It’s amazing what you can learn from them, no?

    • #5 by hollatainment on September 19, 2010 - 3:00 pm

      I chat with a cab driver yesterday and he was moaning about people staying at home when it rains. “Boss, how we go make money if people no dey come out?”. “If people no dey go out, how the economy go be?” Insight!!

  4. #6 by Jessica Ansah on September 19, 2010 - 1:38 pm

    good piece!

  5. #7 by hollatainment on September 20, 2010 - 10:04 am

    @KY, I couldn’t resist giving the mates some credit. Thanks!
    @Jess, thanks!

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