The youth of New Bell, one of the largest and poorest immigrant quarters in Douala, have devised two innovative activities: one, commonly known as "bendskin," is the use of motorbikes as taxis; the other, "pousse-pousse," is the use of handcarts for transporting merchandise. These activities not only secure a sustainable livelihood and a feeling of self-esteem, but also make a contribution to solving the neighborhood's transportation problems. Bendskin drivers and pousseurs (handcart operators) are usually organized in small groups along ethnic and friendship lines, and form a social and spatial "neighborhood" within New Bell. Nevertheless, they have proved themselves capable of transcending group boundaries, and they rally round when outsiders, such as other road users and even the police, threaten their colleagues or their common interests.


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pp. 35-50
Launched on MUSE
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