- Members of the association of tricycle riders have said that the increase in women's participation in tricycle business has brought respect to the work
- They stated that a lot of women had embraced the work, adding that it was paying them well
- One of the female riders said riding has been fun and challenging since she started, but that she preferred it to sleeping around with men
Tricycle business in the country popularly called `Keke Marwa` is believed to be a male-dominated-transport business.
However, the perception is gradually fading off with the emergence of ladies as competitors. Okota-Isolo and Surulere axis of Lagos state is faster becoming a world of female “Keke Marwa” riders who have defied all odds to beat unemployment, NAN reports.
Legit.ng notes that members of the National Commercial Motorcycle and Tricycles Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (NCMTORAN), Okota chapter, said that the increase in women’s participation in ‘Keke Marwa’ had brought respect and dignity to the work.
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Members of the association stated that more women were now involved in the business and were also doing well.
Sulaiman Ajayi, a rider and member of NCMTORAN, said: “The business is a fair treatment to both male and female involved and there is no form of gender discrimination or inequality."
When asked if he could allow his wife to also go into the business, his reply was in the negative with reasons. He said: “I respect wives who do this transport business, but I cannot allow my wife to be involved because she will be too hardened for my liking and the job can be sometimes strenuous. I prefer her trading in the market."
Another member, Kayode Salawu, said no job was specially made for a man.
He said: "The working environment of tricycle business is made conducive for both genders and it has brought about a balanced work force. We respect our female colleagues and we don’t intimidate them because we have the experience more than them but we rather teach them."
A 25-year-old female rider, Jennifer Nwanze, was quite cheerful to tell her story, despite working for hours under the scorching sun.
She said: “I started this business two years ago with the help of my brother who introduced me to this business; he is also a “keke” rider. He saved enough money to buy three extra keke and I told him to teach me how to ride one since I was jobless.
“Riding has been fun and challenging since I started, and people will most times prefer boarding my keke than those of my male contemporaries. At least, this is better for me than going to sleep around with men for money."
Another female tricycle rider, Amaka Onyemechi, advised females to stop treating themselves as second class citizens so that nobody would take them for a ride.
She said: "I owe my gratitude to the association of tricycle and Okada riders, Okota branch , which gave me the privilege to register my tricycle with them and started the business. My uncle gave me a loan that I used to buy my present tricycle and after a period of time, I was able to pay back and now the tricycle is mine. I will never regret that I am riding a keke, I am happy to be doing it."
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported the inspiring story of a female rider, identified as Folake Gbadebo, aka Iya Dammy, who dared the odds to make massive gains. She is the first woman to start the tricycle riding business at the Pen Cinema tricycle park, Agege, Lagos.
Iya Dammy, while speaking with our correspondent, noted that housewives are not supposed to continue waiting for their husbands to come back home before they can buy salt, pepper and some recipe while trying to prepare a meal.
From bike to tricycle, Adijat is gradually riding her way to greatness - on Legit.ng TV