iB iB
Back to News

Dream trip to the TT

Posted in School News

It was a motorcycle journey covering 9,500 kilometres, lasting 40 days and taking in 13 countries.

From Lagos to the Isle of Man – via the Benin Republic, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, No Man's Land, Western Sahara, Morocco, Spain, France and the UK. No wonder they're flying back!

Yet two Nigerian friends say their dream trip to the TT has been worth every mile and every penny.

Toyin Adebola, 49, and Bamidele Fadimiluyi, 33, set off on their epic adventure to the Island on May 3, fulfilling a wish since school days and inspired by a mutual friend with Island links.

Akin Tundedisu first witnessed the TT spectacle during his days as a student at King William's College which has a long tradition with Nigeria with Nigerians in its Alumni for the last 50 years.

Toyin said: 'Akin and I have spoken so often about the Isle of Man and the TT and he fell in love with both during his days at King William's College, which he has fond memories of.

'I've dreamed of the day I could actually watch the races, yet only truly decided to go for it after receiving a You Tube notification about TT 2018.

'Let's not fly but ride there I thought. Let's make it happen. The only other person I knew in Lagos crazy enough to do it was Bamidele. He said yes straight away and here we are!'

And after a less than ideal start when Visa delays threatened to interrupt their plans, they have arrived in what Bamidele describes as a 'biker's wonderland.'

'This is a cosy and beautiful Island,' he added, with Toyin admitting it is like 'going back into past Celtic times with the wonderful countryside'.

Toyin, who cites Joey and Michael Dunlop, John McGuinness and Ian Hutchinson as his 'personal heroes', said: 'Every penny and every mile has been worth it.

'We became friends through our love of motorcycling and to watch from places such as Grandstand, Ago's Leap and the Quarterbridge has been incredible. Seeing the machines flat out at speed has been insane and surreal.'

Both Toyin and Bamidele were invited to King William's College during their visit and say education and passion are two powerful forces that can be used to inspire Nigerians and this journey brings out the best of both.

Bamidele said: 'We are very aware of the proud links between Nigeria and the Isle of Man through King William's College and it was wonderful to find out more about that association and see where Akin went to school.

'They have been so welcoming and our Nigerian registration plates have inspired plenty of conversations.'

Toyin hopes their 8,000 mile ride to the Island shows why distance should be no barrier.

'We want to send a message to Nigerians that nothing good comes easy. Discipline is required but if you have discipline and focus it can be carried into all walks of life.

'We are passionate about our country and believe that by getting out of your comfort zone you can garner respect around the world and achieve your aims.

'The TT has shown that anything is possible. So is the importance of a good education.'

Both friends are trying to raise money for borstals and juvenile delinquents in Nigeria and hope, once they return home, their story will inspire and raise awareness of opportunity.

'To travel is to educate one's self,' added Toyin. 'To travel by motorbike is the greatest way to see the continent.

'In our country there is a huge leadership gap and our young people need good examples to follow. We can use the TT and motorsport to do this.

'We also want to dispel the misconception that the young people borstals are the bad guys. There can be a variety of reasons why they are in there. Some become disillusioned, others develop drug addiction.

'We need to support young children and our youth and inspire them and give them reasons to be focused and productive individuals in society.'

Both men are supporting an orphan's home and detention centre in Kwara State in western Nigeria, raising funds to enable teachers to go into the centres and teach educational or vocational skills, such as automotive technology.

'We hope the experiences we can relay from the TT will show what can be achieved.'

Bamidele says the Nigerian links with the Isle of Man will continue for a long time.

'I was the boy who used black tape and made lines on my yellow bike helmet so I could be like Joey Dunlop.

'At our local beach club we ride for own local trophy each year, based on the TT.

'The TT continues to inspire us all and can inspire the next generation of Nigerians too.'