I have a love-hate relationship with tricycles; also called kekes, I am yet to make up my mind as to how I feel about those things. They appear to be safer and more comfortable than bikes (okadas) but they are not anywhere near cars.
After several experiments, I still cannot decide, is the backseat more comfortable than the half-seat by the driver in front? First, one would think the back is more comfortable till you have to sit between two people blessed with an ample size. Even when your seat partners are moderately sized, the shifting and dressingyou have to do when one person has to get down is mighty uncomfortable. Particularly because, unlike in a car, you can not pick a safe corner by the door (or opening, since there are no windows). While you are busy getting comfortable, somebody will hop in beside you, suddenly commanding you to dress. The keke opens both ways so you cannot complain.
At such times, the front appears to be better. At least, you will maintain the same position all through the ride and you can safely put your carrier bag down, between your legs. All you need to do is find something to hold tight; the keke can swerve this way or that anytime, without prior notice.
The down side is that your ear is next to noise emanating from the keke‘s speaker, often installed by the keke driver who is intent on playing the music of his favourite star- Pasuma, Osupa, Osadebe or Dj club mix. You can choose your evil though, just stare intently at the keke‘s windscreen and body before opting to fold into it. Most of the time, the driver would have announced his affiliation via the sticker on his windscreen or inscription on the back of his ‘ride’. If you cannot deal with ‘atawewe’, simply refuse to enter the branded keke.
Although heat is not a problem you will encounter in the Keke Maruwa, you have no shield from cold or rain when the tides change. Water can splash from the floor to your favourite jeans, take it in good fate. You already know that the keke has no window or door. There is a tactic to this however, on rainy or windy days, sit in the middle. That way, even if the trampoline curtain refuses to protect you from rain strokes, human bodies to your left and your right will.
You must also be aware that keke riders have a pact and greatly enjoy each other’s company. If your driver slows down to talk to his colleague in the neighbouring keke even though you are late for an appointment. Refuse to get angry, smile and appreciate the love. You shouldn’t also be amazed if your driver attempts to squeeze between two cars, its merely a momentary assumption that what an okada can do, a keke should also do.
Now that I think about it, I don’t dislike
kekes, they merely amuse me. That is why I will shut down this system, pack my bag and make my way to find the keke that will take me home.
P.S Can’t afford a cab and uninterested in danfo troubles, charter a keke, it is more affordable and almost comfortable. Sit at the owner’s corner, if it makes you feel better.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime