'boda boda madness' by jan hoek + bobbin case captures nairobi's eccentric motortaxi drivers

'boda boda madness' by jan hoek + bobbin case captures nairobi's eccentric motortaxi drivers

boda boda madness by dutch photographer jan hoek and ugandan-kenyan fashion designer bobbin case is a project capturing nairobi’s motortaxi drivers, known as boda boda, who, in their effort to strengthen their appeal to customers, add striking features to their motorclycles, turning them into artworks on wheels. though their colorful appearances caught the attention of hoek and case, the duo soon realized that the bikers seemed to have forgotten about their own outfits in the creation process. the project, which is part of the pop-up group exhibition now look here – the african art of appearance, presents a series of photographs capturing the drivers in the kenyan landscape, dressed in brand-new, special outfits that matched their motors. lion rider

all images © jan hoek



jan hoek and bobbin case’s boda boda madness participates in the pop-up group exhibition now look here – the african art of appearance, which opens on the 25 of january 2020 in amsterdam north and brings together the work of eighteen african artists who use outward appearances to tell a deeply rooted story. the collaborative project began when hoek and case first encountered nairobi’s many motor taxis, who drew their attention with their fantastically-themed motorcycles, built to stand out from the other taxis and attract the attention of customers. after realizing that the drivers forgot to about their own looks when customizing their rides, the duo picked seven motortaxi drivers and together designed special outfits that matched their motors.


‘we thought the bikers forgot one thing when they customized their rides: their own looks,’ explains jan joek. ‘we selected seven boda boda drivers with the most awesome bikes and sat down with each of them to create brand new outfits to complete the characters.’

machete rider



jan hoek captured the seven boda boda drivers with their new looks in the style of real life action figures in front of nairobi landscapes. the dutch photographer followed his usual method of involving his models in the process, letting them decide how they wish to be pictured. ‘the nice thing is that because of their new outfits their income went up, so they really kept on using their costumes,’ adds hoek. ‘maybe if you by chance visit nairobi one of them will be your taxi guy.’

rasta rider ghost rider red devil rider mad max rider vybes rider jan and bobbin with boda boda taxi riders




project info:



name: boda boda madness

photographer: jan hoek

fashion designer: bobbin case

exhibition: now look here – the african art of appearance

location: amsterdam north. asterweg 17

duration: 25 january – 23 february 2020

opening hours: wednesday till sunday, 11.00 – 18.00

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