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I had not given it much thought until I recently met Sentwali Hakizimana along the African Union Road in Kigali, Rwanda. There’s this old mentality that the right jobs are necessarily the traditional ones; you know, engineers, doctors, lawyers ET all. But essentially the social and economic fabric is constantly transforming and we’d only disregard this at our own peril. In a nutshell, many more kinds of jobs emerge from the changing social composition and structure of the society.
Examples of sections that have been greatly revolutionized include the motor industry, telecommunication, service industry and others. Looking at the motor industry and the wider transport industry; did you know that there are professional chauffeurs, who work for individual or corporate clients?
Well, yes there are. Hakizimana, a Kigali resident works for a company that offer chauffeur services in Rwanda and neighboring Tanzania. I was honored to ask him a few questions concerning the nature of his work.
What can you say about your work? Entertaining, fun?
“It is a good area to be working in. I cannot imagine what else I’d be doing today.” He sensationally stated. According to him, the returns are lucrative to both company owners and the employed chauffeurs.
There are many requirements for the job – Not only the driving license
However as we later came to learn, the job does not only entail driving training. Additional skills alongside driving are essential. “The job sees me drive VIPs across the city through other rather insecure places. One has to be always thoroughly prepared, (and that’s why) the company emphasizes on extra training. (The training) includes defensive driving techniques, ability to cope with extraordinary conditions like unfriendly weather, loss of vehicle control and possibly dealing with car tire bursts and punctures among others. ”
Etiquette and security preparedness are vital
Other rudiments of training include proper etiquette and security provision. “This is more or less like working in the disciplined forces. You have to be ready all the time for any eventuality…”
I inquired whether there’s any preferred dressing code, and just like you guessed…” It’s more or less like the disciplined forces. Companies have to prescribe a specific dressing code to match professionalism in their delivery of service. We are for instance required to be in a blue suit and a red tie while on duty. This is how the company markets itself – we cannot possibly lose this identity to another operator you know…”
Is there time off and holidays in this service?
“This is a seasonal kind of job. Some periods are high booms while at other times there are fewer clients needing our service. As such, we struck an understanding with our employer to schedule our holidays to coincide with the off-peak seasons, which mainly coincide the middle of the year. During Christmas, we work utmost 10 hours a day. ” This, he said, helps the company save on operational costs during recession as well as maximizing its incomes during the boom. Chauffeurs can as well prepare effectively in advance for the oncoming holidays.
Spending time behind the wheel is nowadays earning money for several people in the modern day society. As Hakizimana attests, society is changing and more demands for new services are arising thereby creating new job opportunities up for a continent that really needs jobs for her people.