The Diva Lounge; Driving while Female

Driving in Lagos is tough. You have to avoid potholes, yellow buses, keke drivers, okada men and the likes. The various uniformed personnel also do not help matters. From police to LASTMA and all the uniforms in between. Add all these to the stress of living in Nigeria and you will admit that all Lagos drivers need yearly medical evaluation.

If you are female and young and you drive in Lagos, you are exposed to a special kind of havoc to be honest as it seems there are people who are against the idea of females driving. It is normal for people to pass a female and make statements like 'woman, I no blame you, na pesin wey buy motor give you I blame'. 'no go find driver, I must drive'. 

My colleague came to work fuming because someone had removed her bumper and told her to mind the way he talks to her because she is a woman. Being a lawyer, this rubbed her the wrong way and she ensured the man fixed her bumper. Then there is the horror of mechanics, some of them believe they can cheat you just because you are female- actually, these mechanics just try to cheat everybody.

It is not all bad news though as there are positives; like the random stranger who helps you out of a fix, getting out of a bad situation by just crying and the sisterhood support from other female drivers - women on Lagos roads do support each other.

To survive driving in 2017, the following are essential;

  • Leave home early to avoid the traffic; driving is fun when you are way ahead of time, there is no traffic and you are listening to fun music.
  • Keep a cool head and be patient
  • Anticipate and avoid problems; especially from those yellow buses.
  • Remind yourself that the other person's anger is not about you; so be calm.
  • Refuse to be bullied; you pay your tax and you have as much right to be on the road as everyone else.
  • Learn how to fix simple mechanical problems and have the necessary tools handy.
  • Make sure you know how to drive; seriously, make sure you can drive.
 So ladies, share your driving experiences, the good, bad and ugly; we want to hear them all.

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