“I’ve done a lot of work for charities and NGOs while studying in Ireland but when you work for non-profits, you don’t expect to earn much, and due to some family issues, I ended up dropping out of college. I needed to look for a job that pays the bills. My family had a small bus company back in Kenya so I grew up around buses. When I was a kid I used to draw buses and I always drew myself in the driver’s seat… I decided that I would go after my dream and I signed up for a bus driving course. In there, I saw that Bus Éireann were hiring drivers, I got so excited because that was exactly what I was looking for. Coach driving! Long-distance, nice and comfortable. I began to research the company and I saw that some of the drivers have been with the company for decades. This made me very nervous because… you know, you hear a lot of stories about racism in work. I was afraid that because of my African background and I hadn’t even a clue where Navan or Clare was. At the time, I didn’t know all the intricacies that come with driving a route for years. I was really afraid that passengers would be rude to me or that my colleagues would not accept me and I would be working in my dream job but feeling like an underdog. Despite my expectations, I was greeted with the most amazing and helpful crew I have ever met. The drivers that I was the most afraid of used to take time out from their breaks to brief me on the directions of a new route. I made so many friends. Also, as they slowly started me on some permanent routes with the same schedule, I also ended up with some regular passengers. There was this elderly lady who knew me by my name and would always have a little chat. She would keep tabs on my schedule and ask me if I was okay when I missed a day. After my permanent route finished, I told her that I was leaving that route and on my last day, she brought me some fresh muffins she made. I had so many of these little gestures that meant so much to me because these little acts of kindness make me feel welcome in Ireland.”
This post was highlighted by the National Transport Authority, TFI – Transport for Ireland to promote the discussion about diversity and inclusivity in Ireland and to bring awareness to their opposition of racism and discrimination of any kind on public transport.
We partnered with the National Transport Authority and TFI – Transport for Ireland to create a campaign to stand against racism. Find out more at https://www.transportforireland.ie/united-against-racism