They are the FBI- not the Feds of America, but an equally important organization from sub Saharan Africa. They are women shaping their communities, power ladies from Nigeria. They are health advocates who also double as bikers. They ride power bikes, not for fun, but for a cause- they are a group formed to propagate health awareness of crippling maladies deviling women to all corners of Africa’s most populous country and indeed the entire continent. They are the Female Biker Initiative (FBI), a group made up of female Nigerian bikers, who are on a mission, in West Africa to teach women across the sub-region about health and hygiene.
Their name, however, and the emphasis on the term “female’ highlights the first challenge they must face, being female bikers in a society that perceives 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.
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 perceived 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 perceiving them as immoral or crazy.