Television ensures right etiquette for our trip

We started our year with a bang when one new Siyaya taxi installed a mini-TV.

We started our year with a bang when one new Siyaya taxi installed a mini-TV.

Taxis are going high-tech these days. Our driver has dragged us giggling and laughing uproariously into the 21st century.

On the morning run from Germiston to Johannesburg, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we had gone up in style - umgangatho - from DJ Sbu of Ukhozi FM to a comedy on television.

Before this, the choice was limited mostly to DJ Sbu and Chomane Chomane of Lesedi FM. A few of the young drivers tune into Yfm, Kaya FM and Metro FM.

I hear Cebo Maanyapelo of Motsweding FM is very popular in Soweto and on the West Rand, but I am not sure the station band extends to the East Rand.

I remember one driver who mercifully disappeared from our route, who used to tune in to school radio. We would nap blissfully while a whining voice droned on about verbs and so on until we reached Joburg.

But last Thursday all that changed. We were given top class entertainment all the way to the big city. We watched a comedy film called Mama Jack.

One of the actors, who sports a snazzy blonde hairdo, is a councillor in Ekurhuleni.

Everyone was in stitches and seemed to enjoy the lavatorial humour. It is about a disgruntled movie crew member who impersonates a maid, to torment his former employer.

He uses his film experience to masquerade as a black middle-aged woman and reduces his old boss to tears by playing a series of dangerous but silly pranks on him.

Unfortunately, the film was longer than the journey, so we did not see the ending. I do not know how many trips to Johannesburg I will have to make to get the gist of the story.

It will be a challenge and an adventure to make sure I see all of Mama Jack. I will ignore the repeats and treat them as a reprise after a reprise.

After all, I can still have my first snooze of the day if the driver is showing the parts that I have already seen.

One advantage of the television was that there was no squabbling over seating space. People shifted for others so that they could quickly go back to the story.

For once, the fares were collected without anyone complaining about the change.

It was a nice trip without anyone spoiling our day by sniping and whingeing all the way just because they got out of bed on the wrong side.

I remember one young lady who refused to act as the accountant - fare collector - for the trip, though she was seated in front, next to the driver.

The driver looked at her and then simply said: Yini Sisi, Uvuke ngo left na?