He called me a prostitute for doing a man’s job -female Uber driver
Abigail Martins is a Lagos based Uber driver. She picked a guy from Surulere recently and was headed to a popular restaurant in Lagos Island. On their way, the guy started telling her how beautiful she looked and if she would want to know him better. She declined politely and told him to allow her focus on getting him safely to his destination because he kept touching her head and shoulders.
“I was scared when he got angry and started screaming at me. He called me a prostitute who was pretending to be making legit money by riding Uber. He said that only prostitutes become taxi drivers to seduce different men. He even declared at a point that he won’t pay me a dime when he gets to his destination.”
Luckily for Martins, she knew one of the policemen on a check point close to the restaurant her irate rider was going. She parked and reported his threats to the police guy who insisted on riding with her till she drops off her passenger.
Martins revealed that when she got to the restaurant, her visibly angry passenger paid his complete fare while cursing her under his breath and eyeing the policeman.
“That was the first time I was very scared for my life as an Uber driver. I didn’t know what would have happened to me if that policeman didn’t help me. I felt so helpless being touched inappropriately by a man who didn’t respect my hustle. I am just doing this to raise money for my own business, she said.”
Another female Uber driver, 36-year-old Prisca Ebohon doesn’t ride at night for fear of being robbed or kidnapped. Ebohon had a scary experience late last year when a guy she picked from a location was joined by three other guys and they were looking at her suspiciously all through the ride.
At one point, the one sitting with her in the front seat tried to touch her laps while his friends burst into laughter when she warned him to desist from his actions. She kept praying for them to get to their destination on time so that she will feel safe again.
On another occasion, Ebohon picked two guys who looked suspicious. It was almost 9pm and they were talking incoherently all through the journey. Her fears intensified when she got to their destination and they said they didn’t have cash to pay for their fare.
“They insisted I drove them to a nearby ATM point so that they could withdraw money and give to me. I drove to the ATM point and they withdrew the money and gave to me. On my way home, I thanked my stars and told myself I won’t ride at night anymore.”
Ebohon is attending self defense classes because she plans to ride Uber for a long time because she enjoys driving and sharing little talks with her passengers. Ebohon has an army officer’s number on speed dial and she has befriended some police officers in many parts of Lagos because of safety issues.
“Riding Uber as a woman in Nigeria is double challenge because some guys believe you are free meat for them. Once they see you, they assume they can touch you anyhow, and you can’t do anything about it. I always shock them when I tell them not to mess with me, Ebohon said.”