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Nigerian Motorcycling Women Take Over the Streets
“It is not strange to find women riding motorcycles in this place. It is because we used to ride bicycles to the farm. But carrying our load on a bicycle and riding long distances to and from the farm makes us very tired at the end of the day. Our legs end up aching us. That is why we have moved to riding motorcycles.”
Motorcycling women in Nigeria are taking over the streets!
Okay- maybe not all of Nigeria, but in the South and SouthEast, as well as the Delta State, women riding motorcycles is very common. What is also interesting, is these ladies in particular choose not to ride the “women’s” motorcycles like the step-through scooter style. The locals in the Nigerian Delta State call the ladies’ motorbikes ‘madam-pass-madam’.
These ladies cover many miles daily on the inner roadways and expressways- it is out of necessity for their daily life. Patricia Nduka spoke with the Nigerian Tribune who originally covered the story, and said women jumping on the same kind of bikes men do “was borne out of necessity, not fun or a desire to compete with the men folk.” But this leaves some of the men frustrated, as the women gain more independence in the workplace and home. She said, “Some men actually feel threatened that we can do the same thing only they used to do.”
Nduka added, “It is not strange to find women riding motorcycles in this place. It is because we used to ride bicycles to the farm. But carrying our load on a bicycle and riding long distances to and from the farm makes us very tired at the end of the day. Our legs end up aching us. That is why we have moved to riding motorcycles.”
Apparently it’s not a big spectacle to see a woman riding in the area, so unlike other areas of the country, they don’t get stared at much. They are also very confident on the roads, unwavering being passed by large vehicles, including tankers.
One woman, Julia Metieh, said she started riding motorcycles at 12. “Whenever I was alone in the house, I would take the keys and try riding the bike. I found a way of manipulating the bike even though my legs could barely touch the pedals.” Now, a mother of two, the motorcycle is a very important tool in her family’s life. “Today, the motorcycle is what I use to transport my children to their school.”
Motorbikes are a much more affordable type of transit, allowing women who could not afford cars motorized transport. This means easier access to income, clean water, schools, and so much more. This is just the beginning!