An Okada Man with a Means of Transport, a Medical Opinion and a Belief

It’s 9am on a Tuesday. Sweat drips down my face and pounces on the collar of my favourite blue shirt with as much rudeness as lateness has caught up with me this morning . I gaze into my watch more than the number of cars plying this streets — ever since I came to wait here. No approaching vehicles. Man’s hot!

An okada is approaching; it’s my best shot. I’ll be facing my fears of motorbikes today. People do things they know could kill them. It doesn’t mean they want to die, I thought and injected some confidence into my shaken, devastated self. 


He gears up and off we speed, coughing up dust and gas into the hot air. Problem solved.


But the road is bumpy and the acceleration is jerky. I hold my breath, with my fears sitting between me and the rider who looks rather indifferent. Maybe I should ask him to slow down. But I might as well have trekked. So instead, I engage him in a conversation.

“Ah Bossu, why you no dey use helmet?”, I leant over and whispered with a shrill voice. He didn’t hear, or maybe didn’t want to answer. I repeated adding a pat on his back.

Oh, his response?

His response is that same medium of growth we have all cultured our lives all these years. His response is one of the basic tenets of life; the everyday beliefs and deceptions that floats our boats.

He explains that wearing a helmet compresses the human head, and that a regular use has caused him a chronic headache. He had for many years seen many doctors and spiritual men without success until he stopped using helmets. So, yeah… helmets could send him down the grave. And it isn’t his idea of being a generous man by putting his passengers through such a catastrophe. Those were his words.

I felt my already dried sweat returning in profusion. This must be a cynical reason for risking your life on a dilapidated bike. How did he come by such a belief that is nothing but a push of a self-destruct button?

So I asked him, “You prefer dieing through a road traffic accident to a helmet pushing down on your brain?”. But I asked myself, “what if he’s right and my medical opinion is rather wrong?” Who determines what is factual, real or existent and what is not? No one!

People do things they know could kill them. It doesn’t mean they want to die. They just want to trust their beliefs and instincts and the things that somewhat appear irrational.

We rely on superstitions because we’re smart to know we don’t know all the answers. And that kind of life works in mysterious ways. If it brings completeness to his life, let him by all means dwell on it. Just because you hear hoofbeats don’t assume zebras.

Regardless of science, reason or logic, we all have a belief or fear of that which is unknown. It is what works for mankind. The last thing you ever want to do is to offend the gods.

So when another Okada man shares with you a seeming unfounded opinion, don’t ditch it. And don’t forget to take a selfie.


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15 Responses

  1. You seem to agree with his beliefs. Which could one day land his bike in police custody.
    Well, My first and last okada ride was at circle. Next time I'll try to take a selfie with the rider.
    Once an okada rider told me he wanted to go into the military, and I was like errm…

    Dumbfounded

  2. Oheneba says:

    And he's back with another thrilling piece…but I'm not trying Okada now..hehe

  3. Patrick Fynn says:

    Yea right. His belief doesn't make a bit of sense especially when I put on my clinical, scientific self. But then, I realised there so many irrational things literates (who know better) do that work for them.

  4. Patrick Fynn says:

    Oh don't let it be your last. You are not sure what it is that will kill you. You're sure it's a motorbike?

  5. Patrick Fynn says:

    You'll change your mind… Or the situation will call for it.
    So when you do, be sure he's got a helmet on 😂

  6. Patrick Fynn says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Belief… Some could be overly irrational than this. My last okada ride was from ministries to team station, come see the over taking and countless laws we overlooked����

  8. phanuel seli says:

    I so much side with you Fynn, many are the things we do as literates that are irrational but we always think its ok because we can defend it all out with some theories and big grammar, I once had the fear to sit on an okada but now I wish I own a motorbike.

  9. Patrick Fynn says:

    Everyone defends what they do, reasonably or unreasonally

  10. So you broke the motor traffic 🚥 rules too?
    "sitting behind a bike without a helmet"

  11. Patrick Fynn says:

    Yes officer. I'm fine, if you want to prosecute me

  12. It's just like, what works for me, won't work for you sought of. Hmmmm nice piece though

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