Hero of the week/month/year/forever

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Unloading bricks from the car for the oven project

Unloading bricks from the car for the oven project

There aren’t a lot of good, trustworthy drivers out here so finding one is so exciting.  After driving tests with a few lovely guys who burnt the clutch, revved into the red (if we had a rev counter that is) and couldn’t find second gear, we found Abudu.

Abudu is my hero.

The Nema car is an old decrepit land cruiser which is a superstar car but needs a lot of TLC – a lot of TLC – to get it through the day. Despite paying for repairs to what seems like all moving parts of the car, we still have random engine cut-outs, days when it really does not want to start and a radiator that is equal parts hole and radiator. How it still runs is anyone’s guess but without Abudu I’m guessing it really would not run at all.

Not only is he nurse to the Nema land cruiser but he is general all-round good chap.  I’ve seen him help with everything at every possible opportunity and he is frequently caught doing all sorts of jobs.  Not only that but he takes the initiative with simple things like washing the car and takes pride in his work. Frequently dirtier than even me (I have a keen attraction to dirt) and working longer hours than almost anyone else, I’ve never heard him moan.  He really is a gem.

Like all people here, Abudu’s history is difficult to decipher.  He was schooled to 5th grade in a frontier town on the Tanzanian border. He’s worked driving a mini-bus and has some (invaluable) training as a mechanic.  As is custom, he has a plethora of women and children in his past, though most days he says he has 2 kids in Macomia and no current women in Guludo.  He has family in Guludo, his uncle is the local chapa driver and mechanic and this is where he got his training.

Randomly funny, though not always deliberately he is good company on long journeys and will always go the extra mile.  I’m not sure what we would do without him.


Although we at JoJo are dedicated to supporting Nema, when we heard about the recent earthquakes in Nepal, we felt we had to do something. For the next three weeks, all our Nema text donations will be diverted to Nepal-based charity, Laxmi. Simply text NEMA to 70660 to donate £5 or click here for more details.

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