From okada rider to car owner: How ban changed Sandra’s life

It’s been agony all week on roads in Lagos metropolis, as commuters have been trekking to their destinations. No longer available are the once ubiquitous Okada (motorcycles) and Keke (tricycles), no thanks to the state government’s recent ban.


While a many aren’t smiling due to the recent ban on okada and keke in certain areas of Lagos state, Sandra Egbuna is all smiles. Sandra Egbuna, 20, an ND graduate of the Yaba College of Technology, was the only female rider of the ride-hailing firm, Gokada. After a video of Sandra’s vehement protest against the move went viral, a non-governmental organization, decided to donate a car to her. Sandra tells Daily Trust Saturday her okada-to-grace story

Being a Gokada rider to a car owner

We went for a protest on January 31 after the government said they would ban okada and keke. At the protest, I was in front because I had to pour out my mind. I was the only female okada rider in Gokada.

My story went viral. A Foundation saw my video and requested for my number. They got in touch with me and asked I come to their office.

I wasn’t expecting anything when I got there. But the man there said I should follow him and, outside, he presented a car key to me. I was shocked. I cried. He told me I can do whatever I want with the car. But what I have in mind to do with my car is to use it for Uber or Bolt. I don’t know how to drive yet, but I will start learning next week.

How I became okada rider

I joined Gokada last April when I was still doing my SIWES (Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme). I was fending for myself so I needed to do something that would earn me some money because I had bills to settle. So I started part-time work with Gokada and was able to see myself through my ND programme at the Yaba College of Technology.

After ND, I had to go back to Gokada because I had already got the experience and needed money to plan for the future; my HND and all that. I wasn’t going to ride a bike for the rest of my life. When you beg a guy for money, he will surely demand something. Nothing goes for nothing. If I depend on any man, he could hurt me.

Earning N20,000 daily as okada rider

When I said during the protest that I was making N20,000 daily, a lot of people would wonder if that was possible. But it is. Some of my colleagues were even telling me they were making up to N30,000 daily. Some passengers enjoyed my ride and added to the fare. There was a man I carried, his fare was N1,500 but he gave me N10,000, with no strings attached. The Gokada job was very rewarding

My words for Gov Sanwo-Olu

Many of my okada colleagues are now at home doing nothing. They have families to cater for. They have been calling me, pleading, ‘please Sandra don’t forget us.’ How are they supposed to feed their families? Does the government expect them to steal to feed their families? I would be happy to meet Sanwo-Olu one on one. I need to tell him, ‘You have family members and they are feeding fine and you are happy. If they are not feeding well, how would you feel?’

The post From okada rider to car owner: How ban changed Sandra’s life appeared first on Daily Trust.

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