Karimah Ashadu
Nigeria, Germany, Italy | 2024 | 8 min
World premiere
Language : Hausa
Subtitles : English, French

In Nigerian Pidgin, okada refers to the informal motorcycle taxi service in Lagos. Karimah Ashadu paints the explosive portrait of a gang of bikers revving up for business, despite the official ban. This wild, performative ride draws connections between the representation of masculinity and the vulnerability of this precarious working class.

Having previously filmed the damage caused by coltan mining in the centre of Nigeria (Plateau, VdR 2022), Karimah Ashadu continues to explore the informal economy of her native country, this time focusing on the young motorcycle taxi drivers – known as okada in the local pidgin – of Lagos, an activity which is officially banned. We watch them as they pose under a motorway bridge, with an air of bravado behind their (counterfeit) Ray-Bans, perched on their roaring machines, before launching into absurd acrobatics. Ashadu quickly subverts the codes of this show of urban virile swagger by playing with off-camera sound – the men’s words, spoken off screen, evoke police harassment, bribes, an anaemic economy that offers no prospects, a dangerous life with no respite, which could end tomorrow. In this performative wild ride, the director offers these "machine boys," who endure daily humiliation, a kind of exalted revenge. As viewers, we are presented with a powerful picture of the vulnerability of this class of precarious workers. 
Emmanuel Chicon
Machine Boys, 2024
Cowboy, 2022
Plateau, 2022
Brown Goods, 2020
Power Man, 2018
Red Gold, 2016
Destiny, 2016
Makoko Sawmill, 2015
King of Boys, 2015
Lagos Sand Merchants, 2013
Apapa Amusement Park, 2013
Lagos Island, 2012


Aigberadion Israel Ikhazuangbe
Joseph Eyo EdemJochen Jezussek
Karimah Ashadu
Leonardo BigazziFondazione In Between Art Film
Sales contact
Karimah AshaduGolddust by Ashadu U.Ghello@golddustbyashadu.com+4917675203670

International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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