For many years, the automotive business has been dominated by men, with only 23.6% of employees being female and 10.4% of them being women of colour. But today, some African females are breaking the mould by starting garages, becoming qualified mechanics, and training numerous other women in the trade.
Making a career path in a field rife with inequality is a difficult undertaking.
African females continue to advocate for improvements in the automotive sector that make driving better, safer, and more dependable in order to challenge the status quo and inspire confidence for the future.
Let’s take a look at 5 African female mechanics thriving in the industry.
1. West African woman Sandra Aguebor is the among female mechanics in Nigeria
Nigeria’s first female mechanic is Sandra Aguebor. At an early age, she showed an interest in automobiles.
“For me, to become the first female mechanic in Nigeria, I had to work five times harder… and prove myself,” she told CNN.
She got her start in the automotive industry at a nearby garage, where she picked up all the necessary knowledge. She started her own business after graduating, obtaining more work experience. She has spent 22 years working at her own shop in Lagos.
Aguebor launched the Lady Mechanic Initiative, which trains women how to fix cars and become financially independent after recognizing she was the only female mechanic at hand.
2. African immigrant Memory Bere joins the list of successful female mechanics despite challenges
Memory Bere, a 27 years old is an immigrant mechanic. She moved to Durban at the age of 21 because of the economic troubles she was experiencing in Zimbabwe.
It was difficult for her to get work as a foreign woman mechanic when she first arrived in South Africa in 2013.
“It was a difficult for me to get a job in Zimbabwe,” she says. “I grew up loving cars, yes, but I chose to become a mechanic as a challenge. A challenge to men who say some jobs and skills are only exclusive to them.”
Memory is a licensed diesel and gasoline mechanic in Durban who is pursuing higher education in a field where women are disproportionately underrepresented.
3. South Africa’s Nosipho Kholutsoane is one of the female mechanics who bootstrapped her workshop
Nosipho Kholutsoane, started her workshop with just $105 in her purse, money she had borrowed from her husband. She saw a television programme on car restoration, and purchased a rusted 1947 Pontiac with the $105 she had saved.
“Five years later, Nosipho Kholutsoane, 39, employs four people in her business Lereku Trading Classic Cars. Also, the company has a customer base of vintage car enthusiasts from all over the world.
Numerous Facebook users have complimented Nosipho for achieving goals and dreams that frequently appear insurmountable in light of her achievements.
4. These female mechanics – Fatou Sylla and Fatou Kamara attained their goals despite opposition
Fatou Sylla and her cousin Fatou Kamara are the founders of the Fatou Fatou Mercedes garage in Dakar, Senegal. They claim their business has been operating smoothly, and they currently have eight employees.
However, they acknowledge that their area of work comes with a number of difficulties.
“Being a woman, especially one who runs a garage, is not easy. But for me, it’s not a question of being feminine or masculine. The essential thing is to prove and know what we do. It’s not easy, but we must do it,” says Fatou Sylla.
They attended a technical school for three years before to starting their firm to gain knowledge of the common vehicle engine issues in West Africa. The two then began working as mechanics at repair shops.
5 Fatima Adamu built a workshop for female mechanics
Fatima Adamu is the founder of the non-profit workshop Nana: Girls and Women Empowerment Initiative in Sokoto, which started in 2019.
The programme intends to disrupt conventional gender roles in this conservative and extremely unstable area of the country and give employment to women in a field dominated by men.
In a state where less than 2% of girls complete secondary school and the literacy rate for women is just 10% compared to 40% for men, apprentices were chosen from among a large pool of candidates, including unemployed graduates and women from disadvantaged households with few possibilities.