Simba TVS, the leading brand of tricycles in Nigeria, has brought its award-winning Queen Rider Program to Ile-Ife in Osun State, in collaboration with the House of Oduduwa and Queen Moremi Ajasoro Foundation.
The Queen Rider Program is a women’s empowerment initiative of the Simba Group, that trains women on tricycle riding and maintenance and equips those from under-represented backgrounds with the skills and support to start their own tricycle business.
The opening ceremony, which was held recently at the Palace of the Ooni of Ife, had several government officials, traditional rulers and transport unions in attendance.
Declaring the program open, the Oni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, thanked Simba TVS for bringing the Queen Riders program to Ife, assuring that the crown will continue to partner with the company to ensure its success. While noting the dearth of commercial tricycles in Ife which is supposed to ease local transportation, he opined that upon conclusion of the training program, successful participants would also contribute to the improvement of last-mile transportation in Ife.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Mahendra Pratap, the Business Head of Simba TVS, said: “The Queen Rider Program is not only a skill development initiative, but also a social movement that challenges the stereotypes and barriers that sometimes limits womens’ potential. By becoming Queen Riders, these women can assert their independence, confidence, and dignity. They can also inspire other women and girls to pursue their dreams and aspirations.”
He added: “The Queen Rider Program is aligned with our vision of creating a more inclusive and e society, where women have equal opportunities and rights. We believe that women empowerment is not only a moral imperative but also a step towards economic growth and social progress.”
One of the participants, Ms. Sowade Oluwabukola, expressed her excitement about joining the program: “I am very happy to be part of this program. I have always wanted to learn how to ride a tricycle, but I was afraid of what people would say or do. Now I have the opportunity to learn from experts and meet other women who share my passion. I hope to become a successful Queen Rider and support my family.”
The Queen Rider Program is Nigeria’s oldest tricycle training and empowerment program dedicated to women. It was established in 2017 by Simba TVS to teach women how to safely ride and repair tricycles, enabling them to partake in the industry and increase their families’ disposable incomes.
Since its inception, the program has trained over 1,000 women across Nigeria and helped them access finance, mentorship,equitabl and networking opportunities. The program also provides them with certificates and starter kits.