Zémidjan

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A yellow-uniformed zemidjan in Cotonou.

A zémidjan (also called zem) is a type of taxi found in Benin.[1] The highest concentration is found in the largest city, Cotonou, where there are an estimated 72,000.[2] Zémidjans are motorcycles that carry one to two passengers for short distances within towns. The fares are entirely negotiable. The drivers wear uniforms that are color-coded by city, and have registration numbers written on the back. The name derives from the Fon language where zémidjan means "get me there fast" or "take me quickly".[1][3] The way to actually call a zémidjan in Benin is "Kekeno", a word derived from the Fon language. The word 'Keke' means motorcycle, and 'no' means the 'owner of', Kekeno thus literally means 'owner of motorcycle'. The zémidjan typically stops by and then the passenger and driver negotiate the price, depending on the final destination. The minimum rate is 100FCFA. A movie called Dreamcycles by Nelson Roubert was made about the Kekenos of Tevisodji Park.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pacholl, Natalie (2005-01-04). "Benin Guide - Motorcycles and Bush Taxis - Benin, West Africa". Bootsnall Travel Network. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  2. ^ Joachim, Gbetoho M. (2003-12-17). "Air Pollution And Respiratory Diseases In African Big Cities: The Case Of Cotonou In Benin". Gbetoho M. Joachim. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  3. ^ "Motorcycle taxi drivers hit the streets of Cotonou with AIDS prevention messages". USAID Benin. Retrieved 2007-09-30. [dead link]