Sandra Aguebor discovered her calling in her teenage years. She attributes her engineering talent to a divine encounter she had at 13.
“It all started through dreams, at the age of 13. I saw Jesus Christ teaching me how to fix cars in a series of dreams that lasted seven nights.”
Nigeria’s first lady mechanic had to face a host of challenges and setbacks from her male counterparts, family and the society at large. Somhow she channeled the obstacles as a source of motivation and positive energy.
Certain that this was what she wanted to do, Sandra gave engineering her best. She started working at a local garage during her secondary school days.
“I would get to school at 8 am and leave at 2 am. My overall was already in my school bag. From school, I would dash to the garage and work till 6 or 7 pm.”
In time she started working with the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
After 10 years, she became her own boss and established her own car garage which is still operational till date.
Sandra has been in the car repair business for 32 who years now.
Making a success out of her career, many could clearly see the lady was right when she chose the profession that most women would never even give a thought.
“For me to become the first female Nigerian mechanic, I had to work five times harder than men to prove myself. Now, many people don’t know my name, it’s ‘Lady Mechanic’ everywhere I go.”
Sandra showed her philanthropic side by reaching out to women in need. She assembled them all and enrolled them in her teaching classes.
In 2004, Sandra founded the Lady Mechanic Initiative. The organization specifically grooms women in the business of fixing cars. Thus, helps them to be employed and financially independent.
Another interesting detail of the trainees is that the some of them equally found the initiative to be a sort of therapy. Some of these women used to be commercial sex workers, victims of sex trafficking, school drop outs and financially incapacitated mothers/wives.
Records show that since 2004, Sandra has empowered and trained over 1 000 women in fixing cars under the Lady Mechanic Initiative programme across 5 Nigerian states.
“Our clients keep coming back – they prefer us because we are determined to be better than a lot of mechanics who take their job and their salary for granted,”
Sandra Aguebor has a vision that by the year 2025, she must have trained up to 100 000 ladies who would serve as pillars and pathfinders across several African communities.