DR Congo: Chukudu bikes

Chukudus are very unique Congolese wooden bikes.

They resemble an elongated kick bike.

In Goma city (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo), Chukudus cost around $100 to make. These bikes are made out of scavenged motorbike and other recycled parts, with the bulk being hand-crafted out of wood.

Increasingly, young men in Goma are using chukudus as a way to earn money.

DR Congo: Chukudu bikes

Although these bikes provide income generation opportunities, they are also incredibly dangerous. Roads in DR Congo have hazardous conditions and are precarious as driving is unregulated and there is a lack of driver etiquette for other road users, which means increased road traffic accidents and deaths.

This is a major issue because in the past, the DR Congo rated as having one of the highest road fatality rates in the world.

For people living in poverty, especially youths, transportation is critical. It is the key to access basic services such as health, education, and is a means to improve current and future livelihood opportunities.

Why is this film important?

Horaci Garcia Marti’s film (above)  How DR Congo’s wooden bikes drive profit in Goma is a valuable and important work for a number of reasons.

The film centers on a local young man Tumaini Obedi. With a duration of only 2 mins 37sec, it packs a lot of food for thought by providing Tumaini’s personal experiences riding his Chukudu – and of poverty, urban living, road safety, family and hopes of the future – issues that many people can relate to.

There is a real elegance to the coasting scenes in this film, where the riders are flying along seemingly effortlessly.

Watching this film, I can’t help but think of the exorbitant amounts of money charged by Western bikes companies. But bikes don’t need to be top of the range to make this contrast challenging.

Once you have seen a Chukudu, you’ll view pretty much any bike thereafter differently.

That’s why I like this film. It is short, relatable, and tells an impactful story.

Not only is it important for this story to be told in and of itself, but further, it will give riders specifically pause to think – and be grateful.

DR Congo's Chukudus bikes - Bicycles Create Change.com 9th April 2018

DR Congo's Chukudus bikes - Bicycles Create Change.com 9th April 2018

DR Congo's Chukudus bikes - Bicycles Create Change.com 9th April 2018  DR Congo's Chukudus bikes - Bicycles Create Change.com 9th April 2018All Images from: How DR Congo’s wooden bikes drive profit in Goma 

DR Congo's Chukudus bikes - Bicycles Create Change.com 9th April 2018  DR Congo's Chukudus bikes - Bicycles Create Change.com 9th April 2018All Images from: How DR Congo’s wooden bikes drive profit in Goma 

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