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UNN graduate turned Okada rider becomes car owner after going viral


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Temitope Aladesanwa, a University of Nigeria, Nsukka graduate of Political Science who started commercial motorcycle (Okada) business to make ends meet has upgraded to a better life following a viral interview he had last year.

In a May 2023 interview, Temitope Aladesanwa told The Punch that his desire to become a commercial motorcycle rider was prompted by the difficulty he faced in obtaining government work.

The bachelor’s degree holder continued, noting that he had applied to work for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Immigration Service, but that each time his applications were turned down due to the age restriction.

He partly stated, “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.”

In a recent interview with Punch, the father of two provided an update, stating that he was able to purchase a Toyota Camry after receiving support from individuals after going viral due to the viral interview.

He 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 (Toyota) 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.”

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