Every Sunday, in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, Auwwal “Captain Awwal” Muhammad, and his partner Jamus “Jay Bash” Bashar practice a motorsport known as drifting – a thrilling car maneuvering technique that involves oversteering the vehicle, causing it to “drift” sideways.
It’s one of the fastest-growing motorsports in the world – and it also happens to be illegal on public roads in Nigeria.
Bashar and Muhammad, who have been obsessed with automobiles since they were kids, are drivers for a drifting group in the country called the Drift Hunters, which they founded in 2020.
Muhammad, 23, tells CNN that in Nigeria, drifting cars is not recognized as a sport by the government, so groups like the Drift Hunters legally practice in private spaces to avoid public disturbance. It is also a high-risk activity, so “we got our helmets, we made racing suits and we put roll cages in our cars,” he says.
Drifting’s popularity in the West African country is growing. In recent years, sports organizers and individuals have set up annual drifting tournaments. Both Muhammad and Bashar have participated in many of these events, including the Fanfaro Autofest – a competition Bashar, 26, describes as “Nigeria’s biggest drifting tournament.”
According to the Drift Hunters duo, the dream for the group is to be internationally recognized. “I want us to go outside Nigeria to compete for the country,” Bashar says.
Watch the video at the top of this page for more on their journey through Nigeria’s growing world of motorsports.