Mama Agatha festival laurels


Once a week, a group of migrant women in Amsterdam learn how to ride a bicycle. Inspiring them to let go of the fear and get behind the wheels is a Ghanaian community mother named Mama Agatha.

‘Mama Agatha’ is a heart-warming documentary about letting go of the past and the freedom of riding a bicycle.

“Beautifully shot and full to the brim with life… one of the best short films I saw this year!”

–Louise Bawtree, Quandary Productions

“The film makes a powerful argument for the bicycle’s potential as an empowering machine, giving these women who are marginalised by age, gender and ethnicity, a greater agency and independence.”

–Bruce Bennett, Lancaster University

Mama Agatha is a 59-year-old Ghanaian woman who runs a bicycle training program for migrant and refugee women in the south of Amsterdam. A ‘community mother’ with a larger-than-life personality, she teaches a group of women from Pakistan, Morocco, Somalia, China and elsewhere the most basic Dutch skill: cycling. Mama Agatha’s summer course ends in a colorful graduation ceremony where the migrant ladies receive their diplomas and take to the streets of Amsterdam on their brand new bicycles.

Over a course of 12 weeks, this short documentary follows Mama Agatha and her students on their journey from the baby steps with the bicycle until their graduation.


The women in Mama Agatha’s course come from all corners of the world. Some of them speak neither Dutch nor English. They come from different cultures and religions, but what connects them all is wanting to learn something many people take for granted: riding a bike.
Mama Agatha teaches these women more than just cycling. She encourages them to explore their own skills and empowers them to find their own way into society – on two wheels.
Mama Agatha’s initiative proves how a simple idea such as a cycling course can have a massive impact and radically improve the lives of marginalized social groups. She and her students are living proof that physical mobility = social mobility.



Latest Announcement

27 Oct

HUB Bike Shorts Vancouver: An Evening of Films about Bikes

HUB Cycling is a charity that has been working for nearly 20 years to make cycling safer in Metro Vancouver.

Next Wednesday, Mama Agatha is screening as part of the program of HUB Cycling’s Bike Shorts Film Event and Fundraiser, featuring local and international short films about cycling. Come join the event for a celebratory evening with prizes, beer, popcorn, a silent auction and an incredible community. Find out more on bikehub.ca/bikeshorts.