Ebere Azubuike’s okada (popular term used for refering to commercial motorcycles in Nigeria) is as normal as the average okada you’ll find on the streets, however, what will puzzle you is the alluring presence of a female handly the bike – a position seen as duly reserved for the male folks.
As a married mother of five, Ebere who operates in Ojuelegba, Lagos State says she has been operating in the business for at least 3 years and doesn’t think about quitting any soon.
“I bought my bike when bike was N85,000 about three years ago. I believe my destiny is in Okada because it helps me feed my family and live well with it. I am determined that I would do well with this Okada and so far, it’s been successful.
“Business is not for everybody. Our destiny is different. I had joined business and didn’t make it. I sold in restaurants and beer parlour for about 4 years but at the end of the day, nothing to show
“Sometimes, I use woman empowerment to overcome my male colleagues. I communicate with them normally. What is in this life is manner of approach, depends on how you approach somebody. I am the only woman among them and if I mess myself up, they will mess me up.
“I am the only woman doing this business in this Ojuelegba side but I met one woman plying Ikotun to Isolo route.
“My first child has finished senior WAEC and my second child is in SS2, the third is in SS1 and the last are in JSS2. Immediately they resume, we’ll pay school fees and buy books. In God we trust.”
“God just blessed me with my children. They are doing well. He knows my mind and whenever I cry, He hears my cry. Sometimes they pray for me and tell me ‘God will bless you. Just be patient’.”
“My first daughter, who recently finished her SS3, always says, ‘mummy in 2-3 years I will look after you. I must wipe away your tears.’”
On her husband who fell ill and was bedridden for over a year, Ebere says:
“Right now, what he has is acute headache but he’s moving around much better.
“I don’t take care of everything. My husband assists.”
Speaking on how she’s faring with the economic problems currently battling the country, she added:
“Recession affected me because I don’t make as much as before because change has changed everything. In Nigeria now, a bag of rice is up to N20,000. If customer want to enter bike, they would underprice.
“I have not bought another bike I am just managing the one I have. The cost of bike in the market is about N200,000.”