27 August 2019
Njoro wa Uba finds drama and humour in Nairobi’s taxi business
It’s no secret that in the world of the online taxi business, taxi drivers sometimes come across some of wildest characters – from the clients that give a one-star rating just because the driver tried talking to them to the ones who will do anything to dodge paying the fare. These are just a handful of incidences that now form the premise of Njoro wa Uba, a brand-new comedy-drama that highlights the daily struggles of a typical taxi driver in Nairobi.
Helmed by Arnold Mwanjila (Aisha) and Lucy Mwangi (Varshita and Auntie Boss) as director and producer respectively, Njoro wa Uba follows Njoroge aka Njoro (played by Sue na Jonnie’s Joe Kinyua), a man who is forced to turn to the taxi business to make ends meet after losing his job. But Njoro’s woes are much bigger than meets the eye.
We soon learn of Njoro’s legal troubles: he lost his job (a managerial position) after he was accused of embezzling money at the bank where he used to work, and might go to prison if his ongoing court case doesn’t end well. It’s a predicament that has now rendered him unemployable and pushed him to become a taxi driver so he can afford his legal fees and to take care of his daughter.
His personal life isn’t easy either: he’s a single father and he’s constantly clashing with his daughter’s maternal grandmother who looks down on his current employment choice.
A familiar portrait of Nairobi’s hustle and characters
We follow Njoro around the city as he transports one client to the next, and in the process, he lets us in on what taxi drivers go through, and the kind of characters they have to deal with in their day-to-day life. From the drunk clients who throw up in the car to the rude ones who will keep drivers waiting only to cancel the trip, Njoro wa Uba offers a familiar portrait of Nairobi’s daily hustle and its diverse and sometimes peculiar inhabitants.
Occasionally, Njoro makes a stop at his local mechanic for some banter, small talk and service bargaining, a scene picked straight out of your local mechanic shop.
It’s easy to see our frustrations and challenges reflected in Njoro’s – working late hours and seven days a week but still not making enough money, dealing with con artists, too busy to have a dating life and often, having to face the bleak realities of city life.
Njoro wa Uba tells a relatable story, one that might take you back to your last Uber ride this morning or to that crazy tale your talkative driver once told you about that passenger who tried to sneak her cat into the backseat. Be ready to see yourselves or people you know among these cast of characters that form the diverse clientele of Njoro’s taxi business. And in there, you will also find unforgettable moments of laughter even amid Njoro’s frustrations.
The latest episodes of Njoro wa Uba land on Showmax on Saturdays at 7pm EAT, after they air on Maisha Magic East.