What would make a war-trained Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldier leave the military to become a miraa transporter?
How much money miraa drivers make & why I quit KDF - Ex-soldier narrates
Isaac, who quit KDF to become a miraa driver, gives intrigues of the job
For Isaac Kuria, alias Kush, the decision to quit the military, a career which he had taken after his father, was a long time coming.
In a recent interview with NTV’s Dr King’ori, Kush explained that he always had a passion for driving and his switch to become a miraa driver was not about the money.
He revealed that on a bad day drivers make at least Sh2,000 per trip and for him, the love for driving keeps him going despite the many challenges.
“Unaweza enda job upate mapuncture, vitu zitokee mingi, lakini unarudi home ata ukiwa na Sh2,000 unafeel hiyo job ilikuwa tu sawa,” he explained.
Due to the nature of the job, the cars must be serviced after every trip which only allows drivers to take only one trip per day.
Miraa drivers are divided into two categories; those who ferry the product during the day and the night owls who are entrusted with heavier loads, which could weigh more than 2 tons.
Many of the daytime drivers make deliveries from Meru to Pumwani in Nairobi while the night owls take the highly perishable product to the coast or the airport for export to Somalia.
“My father used to be in the military so I always wanted to be a driver in the military. I didn’t get the adrenaline I was seeking because the rules were too many. I used to hang around miraa drivers on the weekends and as I tagged along the trips I'd get an adrenaline rush.
“I would return to the military and long for the following weekend. Finally I decided to commit myself to driving miraa,” Kush explained.
Kush’s instructor in the business, Justus Munene, was a former teacher before he also decided to quit formal employment.
“Kuna watu sisi hureject. Watu wako na kiherehere ama hukata maji” he said about the recruitment of new drivers.
Newbies are also exposed to dangerous maneuvers on the road to test their courage, composure and passion.
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