The Lesson From the Story of Keke Queen – An interview with Okeyi Ojotule Comfort

The Lesson From the Story of Keke Queen – An interview with Okeyi Ojotule Comfort

What a man can do, a woman can do, if not better. It is no longer a new thing to see women doing the jobs regarded to be meant for men. After all, everyone can do anything as long as the heart is set on it.

I had a discussion with my good friend, Comfort. She talked about her experience on the Lagos road where she saw a beautiful lady running a ”Keke Napep” business. Comfort sees it as an opportunity for everyone in the country to stand up and do something, especially fresh graduates.

The situation in the country is no longer a joke, the truth remains, Nigeria needs help. Our fresh graduates must definitely stand up to the current situation in the country and pick up whatever job they can find. The story of this Keke Queen is truly an inspiration for many.

Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Okeyi Ojotule Comfort.  A graduate of Theater Arts from Kogi State University, Kogi. I served in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and I have vast interest for the media which includes both print and the mass media.

That’s really great. What do you do currently?
I’m an event manager for a sound and entertainment company – ”The prestigious Shuga Entertainment.”

Where is the company located?
At Ojodu Berger, Lagos State.

I saw your comment on one of my posts about “Keke Queens”. Can you share more about that?
I have been hearing about female tricycle riders until I saw one in October 2018, while I was in another Keke.

I was so excited to see this. Although I was unable to drop that day, I managed to trace her to the place where I saw her the next day. I was directed to her house and I did meet with her.

She welcomed me and we had a great conversation. She talked about her business. It was indeed an interesting one.

After meeting with her, I said to myself that every woman who is into the Keke Riding Business must really have an interesting story.  Since then, It has always been in my heart to do a documentary that will tell the whole world their courageous story because driving Keke is not an easy thing to do. It is mostly regarded as a job for the men.

There I tagged her the “Keke Queen”.

Do you mean she drives keke to earn a living?
Yes, she does.

What did you actually learn from her that has triggered this passion for Keke in you?
The courage to make that decision.

That type of courage is rare and sometimes in life, you just have to take that risk. She told me how she was mocked. She shared how she was in debt.

She told me she didn’t even learn how to ride it before it was leased to her, and she had to pay a certain amount of money in a week.

Her first day at work, she was scared. So many mixed feelings were bottled up. So many unanswered questions.

But despite this, she took the risk and today, she earns a living from it and also contributes to solving transport issues in Lagos state.

That takes a whole lot of guts. Would you ever have done the same?
Yes,  it definitely takes a lot of guts. I learnt from her story and I can do the same now if I find myself in a situation that would warrant that.

We are in a society where women are sometimes restricted from doing some tasks. What do you see to that?
I’m a strong advocate for equal opportunities. The excuse for restricting me shouldn’t be because of my gender, but because I am incapable.

Have you ever had any experience of such at work?
No. I haven’t.

Let’s hope you won’t experience such at your place of work. How many years did it take you to get a job after graduation?
2 months.

What’s your advice for every job seeker out there?
Don’t just pick up anything because you want something. It should be something you enjoy doing.

Finally, don’t give up on your search. You may get frustrated along the line, but never give up. The job that meant for you will come.

And lastly, what will you say to a young girl reading this interview?
Being a young girl in a Nigeria society, be it a student or a job seeker comes with its challenges. They expect you to follow the give and take rule that have already established.

They want you to give out your body in exchange for whatever you want. It occurs most times. But, hey, stay put. Don’t give up. Do not succumb. Do not let them say “she’s just a woman or just a girl”.

Be ready to work your way to success. Don’t stick to the status quo. Don’t let them marginalize you. Bring out the best in you. Together we all can change the world.

Thank you, Comfort. It has been a wonderful time chatting with you. You are indeed a great woman on a great mission. I wish you success in your endeavours.
You are as well Chinedu. It’s a rare privilege and I’m grateful. Thank you for granting me audience.

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