When Faith Khakai started up work as a motorcycle taxi driver in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, it scandalized her neighbors.
“They say, ‘Women are weak,’” she recalled. “They say, ‘There are things that men can do but women can’t.’”
People warned her she would become infertile. Men whispered sinister warnings to her husband.
“The neighbors say I could be cursed and have an accident,” she said. “There were some who even told my husband that now that he has allowed me to ride a bike, I will befriend other men and I will not be a good wife.”
The motorcycle taxis that zip passengers through the city’s choking traffic are widely loathed for their daredevil antics. They weave through small gaps, cut off drivers and buzz through traffic jams. Known as boda bodas, they have some of the highest motor fatality rates.