Nigeria is highly regarded for holding Africa’s largest economy and population. As the country’s cities boom, women in Nigeria seek out more independence to assert themselves as vital parts of the economy. One of those women is Lagos-based entrepreneur Sandra Aguebor, the first female mechanic in her country.
Aguebor’s admirable journey dates back to the early 80s. Her love for cars developed while she was a child and Face2Face Africa even reported a dream she had at 13, where Jesus Christ was teaching her how to fix cars. Despite protests from her father, Aguebor was determined to pursue her passion.
Her travels to the United States and Manchester, England sealed her fate and melted away her father’s opposition. Upon their mutual agreement, he sent her to a local mechanic shop where he fixes his car after seeing female aeronautic engineers there as well.
She attended Benin Technical College where she enrolled in a vocational course that taught her how to repair cars. She started a career at a local garage learning all the ins and outs of cars. After graduating and gaining enough experience, she decided to go into business for herself, working in her own Lagos-based shop for 22 years.
Her own story was so inspirational, she created the Lady Mechanic Initiative, a program dedicated to teaching women financial independence through repair training. According to Black Enterprise, classes in the program consist of hands-on training and a detailed curriculum that focuses on electrician training, professional driving, generator repairs, speedboat repairs, and house plumbing to help empower women.
“For me, to become the first female mechanic in Nigeria, I had to work five times harder… and prove myself,” she told CNN.
In addition to aspiring to be the first woman in Africa to assemble cars, she also has a long-term goal to reach 100,000 women through her organization and eventually help them open their own businesses.