Simba TVS, distributors of TVS motorcycles and tricycles, celebrated International Women’s Day by holding an event for graduates of their Queen Riders Program – the company’s flagship CSR initiative. The ceremony was presided by Polly Alakija, the celebrated muralist and artist, and Founder of the Five Cowries Initiative which brings art and arts education into local communities and popular Nollywood actress, Chioma Akpotha.
Simba and TVS have a long association with women’s empowerment. It will be recalled, that the Queen Riders’ program was established to teach women from under-represented backgrounds how to safely ride and repair tricycles, enabling them to partake in the industry and increase their families’ disposable incomes. The Simba Training School conducts advanced courses in tricycle repair and maintenance along with the riding programs.
L-R: Senior Simba Staff, Karthik Govindarajan; popular Nollywood actress, Chioma Akpotha; Director, Five Cowries Foundation, Polly Alakija; Proprietor, Fobims Ventures, Olubunmi Kuforiji; Managing Director, Cedar Microfinance Bank Limited, Olayiwola Gloria and senior Simba Staff, Mahendra Pratap during the International Women’s Day celebrations at Simba TVS.
A unique event was held where the women graduates and dignitaries painted the tricycles under the guidance of Polly and her assistants from the Five Cowries foundation who use art to encourage children to express their creativity while also enabling their education
Also supporting the event was Olubunmi Kuforiji popularly known as Mama Keke, Olayiwola Gloria of Cedar Microfinance Bank, an institution that helps finance graduates of the program to buy TVS tricycles, as well as representatives of the Simba Group.
A company spokesperson explained about how Women’s Empowerment is a key focus of the Simba Group and in particular how the Queen Rider’s Program, is a key platform for achieving their vision of enriching lives of Nigerians. The program was born from the Group’s desire to train women from underrepresented backgrounds so that they have a chance to increase their total family income. The Simba Training School which also conducts advanced mechanic courses has provided training to these riders, free of cost. Training like this are regularly conducted by Simba TVS across the country and several of these Queen Riders are not only driving kekes but also some have become fleet owners operating several tricycles.
After the women are trained and certified, they also have the option to be put in contact with various tricycle fleet owners and microfinance institutions so that they have a better chance of availing these micro-entrepreneurship opportunities.
The Simba Group, one of the country’s most respected business groups, has been in Nigeria for over 30 years. In that time, the group has contributed greatly to the Nigerian economy, and its portfolio of widely recognized brands, continue to dominate industries in which Simba operates. Their TVS tricycle line is the leading keke brand in the country.