A bank teller in Uganda earns about Shs500, 000 (US$309.5) on average in a month. That is good money in some circles of the society. When one is employed by the bank, chances are that they shall be given some transport allowance and the assurance that when the Anopheles come a-sucking, they wont have to worry about dying of malaria like many villagers in the country side.
The neighbours of someone who works at the bank will whisper among themselves when he goes past that “there goes the banker.” His neighbours to refer to him as ‘Banker.’
It’s all good. He dresses the part, leaves in the morning and returns in the evening. He’s also upgraded to suit the role. He’s bought a car; the bank has given him a loan, which he will soon finish paying. He is a regular at Club 10 or in the vicinity of the Ntinda Mall because that is the place to be these days.
Do not stand too close to the road when it’s been raining. When he comes around with his Premio, he’ll not see you at the road side. Seeing you will mean letting you into the warmth and the cleanness of his car and therefore, dirtying it. He’s a busy person. That’s why he’ll splash dirty water on you – and not apologise. He won’t see you, you see.
The man sitting at the wheel of the ‘taxi’ that pulls up near you as you regain your position after Banker has left in a huff earns about Shs30, 000 daily. The owner of the taxi, Omugagga, as he is refered to by the driver and his sidekick with sweaty armpits, (the one who everyone call Conductor. They hate the name Wololo by which they are known in Busoga) will get about Shs30, 000 if he’s lucky everyday.
There are just too many problems on the road. There are traffic officers who are diligent followers of the law of “thou shall eat where thou hath wiped perspiration from thy brow.” They get on the road and target taxis and extract the odd Shs5000 or tenner and before the afternoon, they’ve got enough to pay off their supervisors and also enough to take the madam out for the evening. They then retire for the day.
Our driver will make up for that shortfall easily. Taxi operators are known for the annoying habit of pushing their vehicles to the nearest fuel station then putting in Shs5000, an amount that will take them for a very short distance.
But the point is not how much money they spend. It is about how much they take in. At the end of the day, there is about Shs100, 000. He will give his sidekick a twenty or there abouts, give Omugagga his 30K on the days when he doesn’t report traffic police interference or a dead day in the garage.
Dude’s making a killing. With Shs50, 000 per day, this guy can comfortably tell Sudhir Ruparellia to stuff his bank job.
By the way, is there a better song than Brooke Fraser’s Hymn?