Probox drivers are a special species of ‘mad’

A Probox ferrying coffins along the Homa Bay - Mbita road

In Kenya, you can be guaranteed that the car in front of you is always a Probox. How people continue buying these vehicles on a daily basis still beats me.

I will never understand a man who walks inside a car showroom with his lovely wife and kids in tow and paces around the floor before standing in front of a Probox and proclaiming, “Oh, what a beauty! I’ll pay in cash!” I think such characters should be investigated for mercury poisoning coz clearly, there is something very wrong with them.

How do you even strap your kids to those seats that are stiffer than stale bread?

Whatever unfortunate circumstance that led to the birth of that hideous car is simply unforgivable. I find the design a bit too uninspired and lazy. I sometimes assume that maybe the Probox came to be after the CEO’s lazy son who was happily promoted to senior automobile designer decided to play out his long-term obsession with caskets.

Or maybe Sue, the front-office temp, who recently found herself in the creatives’ round table the day after she left a bum print on the boss’ desk, raised her lunch box when asked for design ideas for a new car.

Or could be this was just a final act of defiance by a tired, underpaid employee, but the boss went along with it just to spite him. You have to admit the Probox is more or less a fancy mkokoteni with a bonnet.

Away from the questionable design of the Probox, most of the drivers are rowdy and lack basic etiquette. They seem to be in the state of mind where they’ve recently graduated from the boda boda fraternity, but still carry those traits along to their newfound “wealth”. On a rainy day, you can always bet on it that a Probox will splash reeking muddy water on you.

Again, the drivers don’t even have that code amongst them like drivers of other cars. Other car drivers have this unspoken code amongst themselves that makes it possible for them to have smooth rides on the road.

Say, whenever they see the other struggling to get into the highway they would most certainly give way. It’s the silent “you drive a machine like mine, I respect you”. But no, this would never apply to Probox owners.

A Probox will run another Probox off the highway, they would totally refuse to let others cut in, a Probox will zoom so close past your window that they will send skirts flying high.

These dangerously driven cartons are the go-to vehicles used in crime and for transporting illegal commodities. But they have the capability of getting away with it because the drivers are rather liberal when it comes to greasing policemen’s hands.

A Probox, just like a police cruiser, doesn’t have a limit or capacity of the number of people it can carry. With the right amount of money, these cars can skillfully fit a whole generation of herders along with their flock of cows and ferry them across borders.

And woe unto you if you ever get in the way of one transporting miraa, because that car stops for nothing. Even a wounded Probox driver has to ensure the load gets safe to its location before being at liberty to succumb to injuries.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of