These Kenyan Motorbike Taxi Drivers are Inspired by Films Like ‘Machete’, ‘Ghost Rider’, and ‘Mad Max’

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Step one foot on the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and you’ll find yourself in a gridlock of honking vans, trucks, and motorbikes. Known for having some the world’s most congested traffic, the latest booming transportation trend is the city’s fleet of boda-boda’s, aka motorbike taxis. The dramatic increase in competition has given rise to a boda-boda drivers attempting to attract customers with attention-grabbing decorations. The themed motorbikes caught photographer Jan Hoek’s eye during a recent visit to the African urban core.

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After seeing one biker’s Nicholas Cage 2007 film Ghost Rider customization, the Dutch artist realized they were missing one thing, a matching costume. After finding seven of the most creative boda-boda divers in Nairobi, Hoek tapped Ugandan fashion designer Bobbin Case to design seven correlating fits. The resulting series, ‘Boda Boda Madness’ features inspirations from films like Mad Max to Danny Trejo’s Machete, to the soccer club Manchester United. Not so surprisingly, the series also prompted the majority of drivers to continue wearing elements of their costumes to garner attention from customers. 

Words: Paola de Oliveira
Photography: Jan Hoek

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