The wild bunch - Nigeria's tricycle taxis

Obi Anyadike


There are swarms of them in most Nigerian cities. Yellow, noisy and slightly dangerous, auto rickshaws provide cheap public transport - and a livelihood for tens of thousands of their drivers.

The motorized three-wheeler taxis are known as “Keke-NAPEP” – a combination of the Yoruba word for bicycle and the acronym for a 2001 National Poverty Eradication Programme, in a neat onomatopoeic package.

In northern Nigerian cities, Keke have replaced “Okadas”, the popular motorbike taxis banned in the wake of ride-by shootings by the jihadist group Boko Haram.

Read on and watch a Keke ride through Maiduguri here.