In love with his taxi job

In love with his taxi job

MASERU – IT is a job often linked with vile language, theft, violence and other vices that make taxis an uncomfortable necessity for many commuting Basotho. But for Relebohile Pita, being a taxi assistant is the joy of his life.
The 25-year-old says he is in love with the job that many frown on because of the rough behavior of many taxi assistants and drivers.
“Some people label our work as petty,” he told thepost last week. “However, I treasure it because I did not manage to further my studies. I love my work,” Pita said.

On Saturday, Pita was honoured with the Best Assistant Driver of the Year award. He walked away with M5 500 in prize money at an event organised by private radio station Harvest FM through a radio programme called Re Tataise Moqhobi (Guide us, Oh Driver).
The event was organised in collaboration with local insurance brokers, Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions, taxi and commuters’ associations.
Re Tataise Moqhobi is a phone-in programme in which commuters talk about customer care issues in the taxi industry.

Taxi drivers and their assistants are generally known for uncouth behavior and rough language, traits that are against the morality of a society and are frowned upon.
Pita is different.
Pita told thepost that he respects his job and considers it important.
The problem, he said, is that “most people do not love their work”.
“With it I put bread on the table especially because I have learnt that I will not make it to school hence I have to embrace it,” he said.

His advice: get a job that makes you happy.
“People can and should find joy in their work. Doing so is very valuable to one’s life in many ways and increases your chances of securing financial success,” he said.
“But you do not have to love, or even like your overall job to enjoy everyday aspects of it,” he said.
Pita indicated there are challenges in this work, but he has learnt to keep calm and respectful.
One of his biggest challenges is clients in a rush. Many of them pressure taxi staff to rush them to their destination when the taxi is still “empty” and Pita has to tout for more clients.
He is used to it though, having been on the job since 2010.

The award made him feel special, he said, expressing gratefulness to clients on the Ha-Leqele route for nominating him.
“You owe loving your job to everyone, to customers, partners and family and most importantly yourself,” Pita said.
“No matter how hard your upbringing was, we are all being given opportunities again and again to create our own destiny,” he said.
The driver he works with, Moeketsi Motjetje, was bestowed with the Best Driver of the Year award last year.
The Managing Director of Thaba-Bosiu Risks Solutions, ’Matokelo Seturumane, said her company insures humans and property, hence its interest in the Harvest FM initiative to honour hard working people in the taxi industry, particularly in the Best Driver Category.
The Best Driver for this year is Mohato Letsie.

“It takes courage and willingness to transport people as well as goods,” Seturumane said.
“This means all are taken care of by the driver,” she said.
Seturumane said accidents would be fewer if drivers could emulate the professional conduct exhibited by Letsie in his work.

The Director of Harvest FM, ’Malichaba Lekhoaba, said they noticed that public transport affects many people and decided to come up with the Re Tataise Moqhobi programme and ceremony to honour the drivers.
“The awards ceremony has been up and running for three years now. The aim is to ensure that those involved work harmoniously and enhance their love towards their work,” Lekhoaba said.

Rabusang Mokone was awarded the Best Passenger of the Year prize.
He said he is a regular taxi user.
And each time, his first act upon getting into a taxi is to greet the driver, assistant driver and the rest of the passengers.
“That is one character they like about me and enjoy having a ride with me,” Mokone said.
“Some taxi operators have the tendency to insult passengers especially when one day, they opt for a sedan taxi (4+1),” he said, adding he also cautions drivers against reckless driving that might cause accidents.

Tokase Mphutlane


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