The concept of gender roles in society is a phenomenon that dictates how we are expected to behave and what to do based on our assigned sex. Over the years, as the world evolves, many females have broken the bounds and making exploits in endeavours of life hitherto reserved for the males.
From the central part of Kogi state is Miss Bello Onize Tawakilt, a young lady whose love for her cars has motivated her into becoming a car mechanic; being a profession in Nigeria with not too many women. In this exclusive chat with ebirareporters.com, Miss Onize Tawakilt takes us on her journey with spanners, and her dream of becoming CEO of an all-women Mechanic company in the country.
Who is Onize Tawakilt?
I am Bello Onize Tawakilt from Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State. I had my secondary education at LGSS Ohiana in Okene, and a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa. I am a proud mechanic and a Videographer as well.
When did you come to that decision to become a mechanic, and what inspired you?
It was in 2009 when I first had interest in becoming a Welder. I told my Mum that I wanted to learn welding job but she said no that it is meant for a man. So, one day while I was returning from Islamiyya, I met the first lady mechanic, and I was inspired. That was how I switched my interest from welding to a car mechanic.
How long did it take you to learn and what challenges did you encounter while learning?
Till now, I have not stopped learning. I am still learning on the job. Talking about challenges, there are a lot that I cannot start mentioning. However, getting my own complete tools has to be the major challenge I have right now.
Not many women are into this job in Nigeria. how do people, especially your customers relate with you on the job?
Well, at first, some of them would be like, “how can a woman be fixing my car?! Please, I am going to wait for your boss.” but after seeing me work perfectly on their cars, they get convinced. Sometimes, these clients who have seen me work would now prefer that I work on their cars instead of my boss.
How do you manage the job with your relationship life and other daily life activities?
Well, the job does not really affect me or my relationship in any way, except for few circumstances which are not beyond my control. Just sometimes, but Alhamdulillah.
Are you a Boss of your own or still an apprentice?
When my first boss, Alhaji Abdulrahman (Mechanic Anyoke) died, may his soul rest in Jannah Ameen; it took a while to switch to another boss. I finally switched to somewhere else in Checkpoint,and I’m still with my new boss. Not yet on my own because I’m still learning from him and I have no working tools of my own yet.
What kind of cars do you fix and where is your office located?
We fix all Japanese cars. Our shop is located at checkpoint opposite ashmawun, popularly known as “Dada fuel station” in Okene Local Government Area.
Who is Onize in the next 10 years?
Onize in 10 years to come is going to be a company owner Insha Allah. I am going to have my ladies trained as mechanics, and have my company spread across the country, like I can’t describe how it is going to look like, but Insha Allah, it is going to be top-notch. I just want to be able to inspire and build a lot of them out there.
What is your message to other ladies interested in following your footsteps?
It is simple. Being a woman does not stop you from being who you want to be. I believe in the saying thatwhat a man can do, a woman can do better.
Lastly, what is your favorite car and why?
Toyota is my favorite because of the maintenance, like their parts are accessible and you can get them anywhere, unlike some other brands of cars.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for having me.