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

“We played «Mama Agatha» at our Bike Shorts Film Festival last year. We received incredible feedback. Mama Agatha was the one movie that people still bring up to me and tell me how inspiring it was.”

—Tracy Wilkins, HUB Cycling Canada

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

18 Jun

Happening in July: Women’s Festival of Cycling UK

Throughout the month of July 2018 Cycling UK will be celebrating women who love cycling, and encouraging many more to take up and continue cycling. The Women’s Festival of Cycling will include cycle rides and events all round the country, ranging from just a few miles with a coffee and cake stop to longer endurance rides, both on and off-road. A screening of Mama Agatha is also part of the program, as are many other great events. Visit the website for more information.