SIMON MAINA, AFP/Getty Images
December 4, 2011
Congolese boys push chikudus (wooden bicycles) as they transport goods to the market of Mushaki near Goma, in Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province. Chikudus are as much a source of local pride as they are a part of the local economy. Chikudus are the brainchild of desperate improvisation. Before they overtook the dusty foot paths and rocky roads of eastern Congo, men carried produce to market in wheelbarrows. No one is certain when chikudus were invented, or by whom, but locals agree they appeared after independence from colonial Belgium in 1960. By then bicycles and motorcycles had reached Congo, and chikudu makers tried to replicate their functionality.