Okada rider who’s a graduate becomes car owner after viral interview

A political science graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Temitope Aladesanwa, who resorted to riding okada to survive, has opened up on how his life transformed after an interview last year.

CorrectNG recalls that he granted an interview to The Punch in May 2023 where he said the difficulty in getting government jobs influenced his decision to become a commercial motorcyclist.

The bachelor’s degree holder added that he wanted to work with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigeria Immigration Service, but his applications were denied on different occasions as a result of the age requirement.

Temitope said in part; “The first problem I had after my youth service was that companies were requesting five to 10 years of job experience. Over the years, it became the issue of age because I was around 30 when I completed my youth service but now, I am 38. Most of the jobs out there now are requesting a lower age.”

okada rider who's a graduate becomes car owner after viral interview

Giving an update in a recent chat with Punch, the father-of-two said after he went viral as a result of the publication, people came to his aide and he was able to buy a Toyota Camry.

Temitope said; “It was a turnaround story for me. Yes, I have not reached where I want to be but I am better off from where I am coming from. When you came to interview me, I wasn’t thinking it was something serious. I thought it was just normal talk that would not achieve anything. I only spoke based on the confidence I have as a Political Science student. But when the publication came out, everyone saw it at the junction where I am known.

Some insulted me and told me to go and use the newspaper to collect dollars from the President. I ignored them and continued my work. I also bought the newspaper and took it home. At first, my wife was furious, asking if I was so proud of the work that I had to go out and publish myself in a newspaper and also put my picture on the front page. But we later settled it.

I have always had an interest in buying a car, but there is no money. Anytime I make an effort to save some money, I spend it on something else. I sincerely appreciate God and appreciate you for coming at the right time because, after I was published in your newspaper, people started calling me.

My wife also shared the story with her family and I did the same. People came to my aid; they supported me with money. One of my friends in Lagos then helped me process a Corolla Camry, and in June (2023), I bought it. It was amazing how everything changed. I am currently using it for ridesharing. As I said, I am looking for better opportunities and a better job, but I have a better life now than when I was riding an okada.

Although I don’t have much money, there are no more insults, and there is more dignity and respect with this job (as a ridesharing driver) than when I was riding an okada. When I park anywhere, people talk to me with respect, unlike when I used to park my okada and some people almost mistook me for a thief. There was a time I visited the okada junction and they saw me with the car. They were already aware I bought a car but they were surprised. Someone even said I did a money ritual but I just laughed.”