Nigeria is home to Africa’s largest economy and population. One entrepreneur based in the country’s largest city, Lagos, is helping women gain some independence by teaching them a skill many assumed you “need” a man to do: fixing their car.
Sandra Aguebor is Nigeria’s first female mechanic. She developed an interest in cars at a young age but her passion was met with shock by her father. Despite his attempts to discourage his daughter from her interest in cars, Aguebor was determined to find a way to pursue her passion.
Aguebor attended Benin Technical College for a vocational course in repairing vehicles. She began her career at a local garage, where she learned everything she needed to know about cars. After gaining some more work experience and graduating she went into business for herself. She has worked in her own shop in Lagos for 22 years.
Inspired by her experience as the only female mechanic on hand, Aguebor founded the Lady Mechanic Initiative, which teaches women how to fix cars and become financially independent. Her non-profit organization brings women from all over Africa to Lagos to learn how to fix cars. Her classes consist of hands-on skills training and detailed curriculum focused on auto mechanics, electrician training, professional driving, generator repairs, speedboat repairs, and house plumbing to empower women to have more independence.
“For me, to become the first female mechanic in Nigeria, I had to work five times harder… and prove myself.” she told CNN. Her goal is to reach 100,000 women with her non-profit organization to help them one day open their own garage and businesses.