Your MCM is riding bikes to form bad guy. These women are savilg lives on wheels.
Made up of female Nigerian bikers, FBI is a group of women taking health awareness around the country, on two very fast wheels.
The group's members are on a mission, to permeate West Africa and teach women across the sub-region about health and hygeine.
Their name, however, and the emphasis on the term “female' highlights the first challenge they must face, being female bikers in a society that percieves bike riding as too brash and risque for an upstanding member of the fairer sex.
“Some people think all women who ride bikes are crazy but the truth is women who ride bikes are some of the sanest people in the one“, one of the bikers, code named “Agent Chocolate” told BBC Pidgin.
However, the unwanted attention that comes from the novelty of seeing a female biker is often flipped to their advantage. In the right situation, it makes people gravitate towards them, not away.
Biker Women from… Nigeria
“It's a normal thing for a man to ride a bike“. Ogoru Akpevwe Attracta, a member of the group says, “but if a woman rides up on the bike, people say, “Ah – it's a woman”
“That makes everyone gather round and then we can talk to them“, she continues. “We tell them about breast cancer, cervical cancer and how they can take care of themselves so that they can live well“.
The spectacle that is their presence is often enough to pique the random observer's interest but sometimes, the bikers also organise events like bike rides to raise awareness for cancer.
“Last year, we did breast and cervical cancer awareness“
“We raised money, got sponsors so we could pay for women's tests“
“We paid for over 500 women who benefited from this.”
The courage that the bikers have shown in challenging gender stereotypes is very commendable.
But even more important is the void they fill in a country where healthcare is, very often, either inadequate or too expensive for the average person.
“Cervical cancer is a disease that women are not supposed to get“, says Dr. Omolola Salako, of Sebeccly Cancer Care, “But if women go for screening, we would detect it at stage zero and limit complications“
Drawing lines from feminist movements to groups like FBI may be a bit of a stretch, but in recent times, women and grils across Nigeria are dipping their feet in pursuits previously percieved to be for men.
Living an alternative lifestyle is not exactly smiled upon in Nigerian society, but this only, for the women, serves to strenthen their resolve to defeat the laziness in percieving them as immoral or crazy.
“We want to change their minds, because some people think that all female bikers are crazy”, one of the bikers says. “But the truth is they don't just party. They don't just ride bikes. They're thinking and working together, finding ways to move society forward“, a biker says.
Your MCM is riding bikes to look like a bad guy. These fear;less women are doing it to save lives.