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Opinions of Sunday, 21 February 2016

Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.

Courtesy for drivers/mate

It was a popular question my daughter kept asking me whiles I was on vacation in Ghana recently.

Though it was a poorly crafted one, it was asking me will decent appearing drivers mate collect more fares for their drivers or car owners.

The answer was both “yes” and “no”. The decency of driver’s mates is certainly a critical component, but many will not give it a full credit for total decency in the vehicle commercialization industry.

Before broaching this question, let me present to you a scenario which unfolded before me whiles commuting from one area in Accra to another area.

It was late in the morning one Monday and I had to hurry to Accra Central to meet a business friend to discuss an important issue.

The traffic was unhurried therefore I decided to board a commercial vehicle from Kwame Nkrumah Circle. As usual, the loud shouting of “Accra,Accra,Accra”, drew my attention to this particular drivers mate so I boarded his vehicle.

In the mist of hot and sunny weather which made everyone to sweat profusely, I started to smell unusual scent from the shirt of this driver’s mate which made me felt uncomfortable.

As the driver drove at a certain speed and his mate waving his hand to call in more passengers going our way, the gusting winds which blew the scent from his shirt made matters worse for me in my seat.

The body odour as at that time not able to control, force me to stick my out of one of the louvers to take in fresh air or else I throw out on board which might be nasty.

That depicted a Hollywood movie where the rich takes their dogs for a ride and you see them sticking their necks out of the car to enjoy gusting winds.

In fact, in most of my time moving from one area to another, I discovered that most of the driver’s mates do not shower after work and in the morning before getting to business of transporting passengers to their various destinations which was very bad.

By the way, what do the drivers and their mates take ordinary but decent and courteous Ghanaian passengers for?

I am asking this question because of their indecent and unkempt appearances in most of our commercial bus stops.

The practice of keeping unkempt hair and not taking their baths regularly has become so common that passengers are beginning to express concern as to what the exercise is for?

But serious jokes aside, what are that exercise for and what that behaviour means? Is it getting more passengers on board their vehicles or to make more money at the end of the day?

Both Ministry of Transport and Ministry on Culture should start educating our drivers and their mates on some of these courtesies since the falling standard on tradition and culture is so appalling.

I will recommend they take a bath in the morning and after work with Camel Lime Scented Detol which will make them look refreshing all the time.

Courtesy for boys and girls in our schools, work places, churches, mosques, homes, on televisions, radios and in our newspapers will go a long way to bring about change for the better.