Okada Love - A Lagos Motorcycle Romance - eBook Cover for Nigerian Romance Short Story

Happy Monday!

Okada Love is the second story in the December Short Stories Series.  The first was Keke Love: A Lagos Tricycle Romance, and it was about a love story that began on the back seat of a Keke Maruwa or Keke NAPEP.

Okada Love is the story of a couple whose love story began on an okada, which is a commercial motorcycle or motorbike.  Okadas are one of the most popular means of public transportation in Lagos, and other parts of Nigeria.


Okada Love: A Lagos Motorcycle Romance


A loud noise woke Eyimofe up from her early morning dream.

“Oh no!” cried Nkechi.

“What? What is it? What happened?” Eyimofe asked in panic as she felt the car swerve, shudder and slow down.

“Flat tire,” said Nkechi as she steered the car safely to the side of the road.  The two women were similarly dressed: each wore a black pair of trousers and comfortable shoes.  But while Nkechi wore a black and white blouse covered in blue leaves, Mofe wore a sleeveless blouse with pink and orange stripes.  They both worked at the same place: Deidre’s gift shop, located in a shopping plaza in Victoria Island.

Although Nkechi’s wages were the same as Mofe’s, she owned a car while her colleague didn’t.  But Nkechi’s ability to afford a car in spite of her meagre salary was due to a recent change in her household.  About a month before, her husband acquired a new car, and passed what had been their only vehicle to his wife.

Before then, Nkechi and Mofe who were neighbors, used to take the same buses to work.  However, once Nkechi started driving to work, Mofe’s bus hopping days were over.  They went to work together and made the return trip home together.

This morning, however, it appeared that they would both arrived late to work, if at all.

“And I asked this man if he checked the tires o,” Nkechi groaned.  “He said yes.”

Mofe looked at the tire.  It was the left front tire, the one on the driver’s side the was flat.

“Maybe he did, and we just ran over a nail,” said Mofe.

“Either way, I’ll have to call Madam and tell her I’ll be late.  You know how she gets when there’s no one there at 8:00am.”

Nkechi tried the shop owner’s number, but the poor network prevented the call from connecting.  Mofe looked at her wristwatch.  The time was already 7:02am, but even though the gift shop was only 30 minutes away from where the car had stopped, this was the morning rush.  The roads were packed with people in cars, buses, trailers, trucks, lorries, kekes and of course, motorcycles, popularly called okadas.  Parents and guardians were taking their children to school, trying to beat the 8:00am deadline for assembly.  People were on their way to work, to meetings, to market.  Some were making the return trip home from nightshifts.  The roads were full of people in pursuit of their daily bread.

The gift shop was open from 9:00am to 8:00pm.  But due to the low foot traffic in the shop, it felt more like a part-time job.

“What do you mean you’ll be late?  Me nko?  Shebi we’re in the same boat?”  said Mofe.

“Nope.  I’ve worked longer than you have at the shop.  I can give Madam a good excuse.  But you’ve only worked here for just two months.  As far as she is concerned, you’re still on probation.  Plus, she’s been talking about sacking people.  Don’t play into her hands o,” Nkechi warned.

“You’re right.  I just have to figure out how to get there fast,” said Mofe.

As she was about to ask where she could catch a bus or keke maruwa, Nkechi proffered a solution.

“Take an okada.”

“Oka-what? God forbid! Those things are nightmares on wheels, guaranteed to raise your blood pressure through the roof,” said Mofe.

Nkechi laughed.

“It sounds like you love okadas,” she teased.  “Have you ridden one before?”

“Once, actually.  I just don’t like them,” said Mofe.  What she did not tell Nkechi was that the first and only time she had ridden on an okada was when she was in secondary school.  It was a horrible experience.  She made the mistake of telling the okada driver, “Oga, I never ride okada before.  Abeg, dey go sofri sofri.  No speed.  Just dey go jeje.”  She kicked herself later for failing to notice the evil glint in the okada driver’s eye as she told him to take it easy.  But she did notice the evil grin.

The okada driver’s only response was:

“Make we dey go.”

Mofe should have known then that they were not on the same page and that he had no intention of paying attention to her pleas.  Instead of going sofri sofri or driving jeje, the okada man drove at such a ridiculously high rate of speed that Mofe wondered if a pack of hungry wolves were hot on his trail.

He made sharp turns without slowing down, and it felt like Mofe would lose her balance and land on the ground.  But that was not all the crazed okada driver did.  He kept weaving in and out of traffic, almost colliding with other motor vehicles.

Mofe screamed at the top of her lungs all the way from her house to her lesson till she was hoarse.  She grabbed the okada driver’s waist and screamed into his ear:

“Slow down! Abeg! I take God beg you! Slow down!”

When that did not work, she screamed:

“Mummy! Daddy! M-u-m-m-y!!!”

Unfortunately, the wicked okada man interpreted her screams as an invitation to increase his speed.  He revved up the engine and went even faster.  And the whole time, the man kept laughing.

As soon as the okada stopped in front of her lesson, with trembling legs, Mofe hopped off the motorbike.  She immediately dropped to her knees and raised her hands towards the heavens.

“Papa, I thank you! Thank you for sparing me!”

The wicked okada man laughed at her, and said:

“Abeg round up this your praise and worship, make you pay me my money.”

Mofe eyed him and paid him his fare.  As she watched him speed into the distance, she vowed in her heart that she would never ever ride any contraption on two wheels.

But that was ten years ago when she was a teenager.

Now, Mofe had no intention of breaking the vow she made to herself or revisiting okadas.  But how could she get to work on time, otherwise?  Using a keke, which would have been her preference was out of the question because in the bumper to fender traffic which lay ahead, kekes were as much trapped on the roads as regular cars were.

While she was still debating what to do, Nkechi had whipped out her phone, and fired up an app.

“An okada will be here in about 10 minutes.  He’ll take you,” she said.

“How do you know?” Mofe asked.

“My brother told me about an on-demand okada service called Okada Express.

“Sounds like a delivery service,” said Mofe unenthusiastically.

“I know.  I said the same thing when I first heard about it.  To my knowledge o, they transport people not parcels.  And I’ve heard very good things about them.  These are not your regular, reckless okada drivers.  They dress smart and drive with sense.  I think it’s quite safe.”

Mofe groaned.  “Please stop using okada and safety in the same sentence.  Those things are the very definition of unsafe.”

“Well, ready or not, Mofe, your ride is here,” said Nkechi.

She had not finished speaking when a snazzy motorcycle arrived.  It had two bold colors:  black and a color that looked like fuschia.  The motorcycle driver’s helmet was the same bold fuschia and bore the logo and name of the company in black.  The same insignia was on the front and back of the driver’s black t-shirt, with the logo and words “Okada Express” rendered in fuschia, this time.

The okada driver had a strong upper body and well-sculpted thighs.  As his legs were hidden under a pair of black trousers, Mofe had no way of gauging whether he had toothpick legs because he skipped ‘leg day.’

But all of that did not matter because he had a handsome face and a pleasant smile.  In fact, the minute he arrived, opened the visor of his helmet and smiled at her, Mofe didn’t know how or why, but she found herself smiling too.

When he took off his helmet, Mofe observed that he was clean shaven, and when he smiled again, she spotted the most gorgeous pair of dimples.

Thank God he doesn’t have a beard.  Some of these young guys are rocking full beards thinking it it’s cool to look older.  Meanwhile, the older ones have shaved all their bie bie to look younger.  Men!  Mofe thought to herself.

From the minute she laid eyes on him, Mofe knew that this was not your typical okada driver.  He did not have that rough, dusty look that came standard with okada riders.  He didn’t even wear rubber slippers or sandals like she had seen countless okada riders wear.


This guy came prepared.  He was dressed for road safety, wearing protective motorcycle gear including a full helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and shoulder pads.  He even wore motorcycle gloves.

He parked the okada behind Nkechi’s car and walked over to where they stood.

“Good Morning, ladies,” he said.  The women returned his greeting.

“Which one of you is Nkechi Anyanwu?”

“That’ll be me,” said Nkechi.  “But I actually reserved the okada for her,” she added, pointing to Mofe.

“Alright.” Turning to Mofe, he said: “My name is Tunde, and you are?”


“You need a ride to Victoria Island, right?”

“Yes,” said Mofe.

“We should be there in no time.”

“Wait.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but how are you an okada driver?” Mofe asked the one question that had been foremost on her mind since this guy arrived.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean … you look and sound like me.  A university graduate.  And the okada drivers I know are usually coasting on a Primary four level education.”

Tunde burst out laughing.

Read the Full Story on:



Read Story # 1: Keke Love, A Lagos Tricycle Romance

Don’t miss these short stories

August Fiction Series

Unfriending Mama

Hotel Surprise

An Understanding Woman

At the End of a Long, Loose Braid


September Short Stories

September Short Stories, A Collage of all four book covers of Nigerian Romance Short Stories including: A Bouquet of Promises, Mr. Perfect Shoes, Considering Mr. Wrong and To The Man I Once Loved

A Bouquet of Promises

Mr. Perfect Shoes

Considering Mr. Wrong

To the Man I Once Loved

*Eyimofe is an Itsekiri name meaning This is what I want or This is my desire.  It means the same thing in Yoruba.


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