The Cheap Urban Necessity in Our Big City - Daladalas

By Anne Kidmose Jensen

Latifa Mapembe knows the feeling of a packed daladala all too well. The scrambling for seats and the sudden difficulty to find space for the feet are among her morning rituals.

When she leaves her home in Mbuyuni, Dar es Salaam, around 5:30 in the morning, she prepares herself to stand up for one and a half hours in the daladala to Makumbusho bus stand before she boards another bus to Mwananyamala. Although the distance is only 14 kilometres, it can take her up to three hours to get from her home to work.

"Daladala is my only mode of transport, but sometimes it is very challenging. I can be very tired when I reach work. In the evening I sometimes leave work at 6pm and reach home at 8 or 9pm. The Bagamoyo Road has so much traffic and when I reach home I just want to eat and then sleep," says 26-year-old Latifa who works at the Human Resource (HR) department at a microfinance company in Mwananyamala.