photos by Stephen Tayo / frames styled by Alexander-Julian
“nigeria's okada bikers could be the freshest people on earth”
It might seem surprising, but some of Nigeria’s sharpest sartorial efforts can be found on the backs of the motorbikes zipping through the streets of Lagos. The bikes are known locally as keke or okada, a play on now-defunct Nigerian airline Okada Air due to their riders’ ability, albeit terrifyingly, to get you from point A to B. Riding the streets of Lagos all day can leave your eyes vulnerable to all kinds of dust and debris in a city of 21 million, and the bikers protect their peepers with pure steez.
As many Nigerians will testify: no matter the situation, style is never worth sacrificing. You’ll frequently find okada riders decked out in the most extravagant eyewear, from large embellished hot pink frames to gold-trimmed cat-eye lenses. If you’re going to hit the Lagos streets, it’s got to be done in style.
I teamed up with local photographer Stephen Tayo to capture the infamous okada bikers of Lagos in the most lavish eyewear of the season.