But far from civil disobedience, they’ve got a cunning plan: Make their own helmets from hollowed-out pumpkins. No, really.
The country’s unregulated moto-taxi service has particular problems as helmets are expensive, and often get stolen by the passengers.
Not that all passengers are keen on wearing the helmet provided by the taxi:
Stories have also appeared in the local papers highlighting passengers’ fears that the helmets could be used by motorcyclists to cast spells on their clients, making it easy for them to be robbed.
“Some people can put juju inside the helmets and when they are worn the victim can either lose consciousness or be struck dumb,” passenger Kolawole Aremu told the Daily Trust newspaper.
Juju? Maybe this could explain why I seem to be more prone to falling off my bike when I wear a helmet?
Not that I’m anti-helmet as such, though I do suffer from double standards concerning motorcycle helmets (Good Things) and bicycle helmets (Things of Questionable Value).
However, since I stopped routinely wearing mine for regular rides about town, I have found one distinct problem. A bike helmet is great for holding your fresh-from-the-shower-and-still-damp hair down as you cycle to work (think of it as a cross between a hair net and an insulated polystyrene / Styrofoam cup). True, it does create a certain nerdy hair style, but without one, I find that I get a cycling blow-dry, not unlike the one sported by this guy:
As you can see, with his vacant smile and crazy hair, he looks like the kind of person that’s a special kind of stupid. Add a pumpkin (or even a fake pumpkin made from the same material as a disposable coffee cup), and he’d probably look like the smartest kid on the block. Probably.