The ninth edition of the Oxford dictionary has adopted ‘boda boda’ as an English terminology.
Collins and Macmillan dictionaries define the term as a bicycle taxi or a bicycle rider in charge of a motorcycle.
OED defines it as: “A type of motorcycle or a bicycle with a space for a passenger or for carrying goods, often used as a taxi.”
The term has its roots in English words ‘border border’ shouted by riders in Busia, Kenya.
They ferried people from outlying areas in the county, a former district, to Busia town.
Most times, people avoided using matatus because they were expensive or few. But they would also fail to agree with bicycle riders on the fare to the town.
In the border town, a theory says boda bodas transported people across a border without any paperwork and that this did not apply to cars.
Many youths work as riders in towns across Kenya but they have been blamed for numerous accidents.