The Brussels Bike Hundred

100 portraits, stories and bicycles

We’re teaming up with Bike for Brussels to put together a 100-strong selection of local heroes shaping the city each in their own way. From designers and DJs to performers and publishers, these are the creatives riding Brussels forward.

Esinam Dogbatse

Esinam Dogbatse

Multi-instrumentalist (1985)

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I am a musician, mainly a flutist. I also play the keyboard, percussions and I sing for my solo project. Being a musician involves a lot of things, but I love music and it’s my full-time job.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?

The city is one of my inspirations. I think the place you live in does have an influence on you. My neighbourhood is very quiet and I have really nice neighbours who love music, which is very cool because I feel good and welcome in that street.  Plus, I love my typical old house for its charming high sealing and wooden floor; it’s a great environment to be creative when you work at home.

When you cycle you get a different perspective of what is around you.

What do you like the most about Brussels?

  • Bruxelles ma belle is a very diverse, rich and mixed city where you can experience different vibes within the same area.
  • The moment I love biking the most is very late when everybody is asleep. I used to work as a barmaid in Saint-Géry for many years, so I was always going back home around 5am. At that time you can hear other sounds from the city and birds even start singing.
  • When you cycle, of course you have to focus on the road but you get a different perspective of what is around you. You see the city in another way, in a kind of discovery mood.
  • I love looking at the sky too, especially the sundown from Botanique, which is very close to my home.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • It’s eco-friendly.
  • It’s faster, you almost feel like you’re flying.
  • It’s silent.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • From my place in Saint-Josse/Sint-Josse to Flagey, because I have good memories along that way. It’s a nice route to ride through the Jardin du Maelbeek and it is flat!
  • I like Schaerbeek’s art-nouveau houses in the Ambiorix area. Nice view, nice houses.
  • When I go downtown, passing by Botanique by bike is the easiest way to pass by the city centre with the pedestrian.
esinamdogbatse.com