Filed Under (Malian culture) by Rob on 24-05-2010

(a) For decoration.
(b) To see what is coming from behind.
(c) To make into a nice triangular shape.
(d) None of the above.

Well, I’m afraid many of Bamako’s 1,000s of motorcyclists would, in fact, opt for any of the above answers but (b). Have a look:

Yes, a significant proportion of motos in the city will have their mirrors pushed up together like this, rendering them useless as rear-view mirrors and thereby jeopardizing their road-safety.

I asked why this was the case and someone told me it was because men consider mirrors to be a ‘girly’ accessory and so any ‘macho man’ would not want to be seen looking in one whilst riding his motorbike!

Whatever the reason, I am sure that lives could be saved and injuries avoided if folk started to use these mirrors for their designed intention!

1 Comment posted on "What are motorbike mirrors for?!"
H. on May 24th, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

here in Morocco, people do the same thing, but it’s in order to be able to navigate the narrow streets of the medinas 🙂
I can’t remember whether it was in Brukina or Mali, that they called driving with the mirrors out “cowboy style”, as the mirrors made it look like you had horns… Also spoke to an older man who told me that the “white man” never builds things without a good reason, so the mirrors definitely should have a purpose, and young people were just ignorant 🙂