Naija Urban Legends

A tricycle(keke NAPEP/ Keke Marwa) loading in Lagos, Nigeria

A tricycle(keke NAPEP/ Keke Marwa) loading in Lagos, Nigeria

My son told me a very interesting story today when I picked him up from school today. Apparently this is a ‘true’ story, the very makings of an urban legend.

Let me narrate.

A certain poor man is said to have come into the possession of a very special key. Who this man is- we don’t know. Where he got the key is unknown. Anyway, I digress.

So this man has been reported to have wandered around town (here in Jos) with the said key. When he spots a likely victim, he drops the key and asks the person to help him pick it up.

When they do, they are instantly transformed into…

Keke Napep. A.k.a Keke Marwa. Overgrown Tricycle.

My son tells me his classmate swears this really happened and that after this villain had succeeded in transforming ELEVEN people into the quaint little vehicles he was spotted by a suspicious soldier in Terminus (again, soldier has no name).

He was then told to pick up the key after he dropped it. Then he was, himself, transformed into a keke napep.

He was then dismantled and justice was served. (In Zee’s words. ‘Yeah. And so he died.’)

My questions to Son were: if the idiot had such a key then for goodness sake why keke napep and not Mercedes or BMW? So, where are the eleven victims? So, who actually saw the transformation and subsequent ‘kidnapping’ of the kekes?

Son shrugged.

We seemingly forgot about the gist until, on our way home, we spotted a keke napep in front of us. Then my son spoke.

“Look mummy. Maybe that’s one of THEM.”


In low tones: “Those 11 people.”

Sigh. Why is it that our Naija urban legends always have to include people turning to yam, potato or having their genitals stolen? So for this generation, it is keke napep? Okay o.

Story written by   on SifaSpeak
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