Sandra Aguebor is Nigeria’s first lady mechanic. She’s the first in the sense that she owns and operates her own mechanic workshop. Her initiative has spread to Northern States like Kano where muslim women are enthusiastic of her work.
Growing up in a polygamous family in Benin City, her mother actively discouraged her from following her dreams, sometimes beating her when she would be out tinkering with an engine instead of doing her chores in the kitchen. But Sandra is the sort of woman that responds well to adversary.
She has built a network of female mechanics that is spreading from city to city, and training former sex workers, orphans, and victims of trafficking to be mechanics. Sandra believes that women are better suited to high quality, technical work on motor vehicles.
“Our clients keep coming back – they prefer us because we are determined to be better than a lot of mechanics who take their job and their salary for granted,” she says.
Sandra’s Lady Mechanic Initiative has now spread to the north with its first project in Kano City where the response from Muslim women has been unprecedented.
Sandra secured her first employment with Bendel Transport Service now Edo Line in Benin City, as officer in charge of maintenance and repairs in the workshop for three years, and later with Nigeria Railway Corporation in Lagos for another three years before deciding to be on her own, while on her own, she managed fifteen trucks for a haulage company that distributes confectioneries to the North and other parts of Nigeria.
However some of her special attainments are, sponsorship to visit seven states in America by the U.S government in 2004 through the American consulate, and invitation to Aso Rock with her trainees by the president, Federal Republic of Nigeria Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo.
Currently the MTN Foundation is funding the empowerment and training of 50 young ladies in Auto Mechanic profession as skill acquisition to create wealth. She also broke the barrier of the Muslim Community “ISMUF group”, by also taking 12 of their women into training even with all their HIJAB outfits, they still partake in all training.
Source: Al Jazeera