Bassey Margaret, a 23-year-old Abuja-based female mechanic from Ikpo-asutan, Akwa Ibom State is proud of her vocation.
The last child of three girls, Margaret said she had to train as an automobile repairer because of her poor family background.
After spending a year and six months of rigorous training in Lagos, she arrived Abuja with dreams of making it in the male dominated occupation. Margaret got a job at a mechanic shop at Lokogoma, around airport road at N30, 000, monthly salary.
It hasn't been a walk in the park as she had faced her share of discrimination whenever she introduced herself as a mechanic.
However, some people, especially the men took her seriously, supported her because of competence. Speaking to Okwe Obi of The Sun, she recalled how her boss gave her a rather funny test.
"When I went to seek employment, my boss surveyed me; and told me to stretch and fold my hands. He looked at them and told me to start working the next day.
“Out of curiosity, I asked him what that meant. He told me that if he didn’t find scars, on them that means I was not a mechanic. According to him, mechanics were synonymous with injuries considering the nature of the work.”
When asked if she would love her love children to toe her path, she said:
“I won’t discourage them. It takes determination, patience and God’s grace to excel.”
She has resolved to own a workshop someday, at least, to train others.
According to Okwe Obi, he booked the interview for 10am but I ended up interviewing her at 4:20pm seeing the influx of customers.
"As she was up and doing even when I finally got her attention, she was still giving directives to apprentices. Most customers prefer her to fix their cars."
Paul Onenu, a customer, said whenever she fixes his car the problem stops
“I prefer her working for me because of her meticulousness and dedication,” he said.
Barong Joe said she was shocked upon sighting her.
“This is somebody who wants to make a difference. Her mates are idling away and looking for men to foot their bills, but here is a girl surpassing all expectations. Honestly, I am touched.”