Meet the woman driving a motorbike taxi in eastern Congo

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Wearing leather leggings under her dress, Imelda Mbambu weaves her motorcycle taxi through the city of Beni in north east Congo, a handbag slung across her side and a happy customer perched on the back. Once a farmer, it was the death of Mbambu's husband ten years ago that forced her to find a new way to support her six children in a city where the majority of people live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day. She sank her savings into a red motorbike, known locally as a 'boda', and hit the road

Reuters September 23, 2020 00:14:23 IST
Meet the woman driving a motorbike taxi in eastern Congo

Meet the woman driving a motorbike taxi in eastern Congo

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Wearing leather leggings under her dress, Imelda Mbambu weaves her motorcycle taxi through the city of Beni in north east Congo, a handbag slung across her side and a happy customer perched on the back.

Once a farmer, it was the death of Mbambu's husband ten years ago that forced her to find a new way to support her six children in a city where the majority of people live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day.

She sank her savings into a red motorbike, known locally as a "boda", and hit the road.

Decades of unrest, including a civil war that ended in 2003 and an ongoing Islamist insurgency, has made violence against women commonplace in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, ranked one of the 10 most dangerous countries to be a woman by a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll in 2018.

According to the United Nations, documented cases of sexual violence in the east of the country rose 34% last year.

The novelty of a woman riding a motorbike taxi has won Mbambu loyal clients, but also saved her life.

"One time I was riding from the countryside when I was ambushed by bandits," Mbambu said.

"They were dressed in red blood-stained clothes and wanted to harm me, but when they noticed that I was a woman on a motorbike, they got very surprised and urged me to go on with my journey."

Since launching her business, Mbambu has picked up a number of regulars, with many women preferring her services to take them to and from the market.  

Now her children never go to sleep hungry, she said.

"My mum’s job helps us get food, education, clothes, medicine and a lot more," said her daughter Neema Mandefu.

(Reporting by Erikas Mwisi Kambale; writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts
Business

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000
Business

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000

By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen
World

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen

By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son