“I just saw this woman talking about her business with all this strength,” she recalls. “She was her own person. And I knew I wanted to be just like her.”
That woman was 42-year-old Sandra Aguebor-Ekperouh, the founder and CEO of Nigeria’s Lady Mechanic Initiative, an NGO that provides training and employment for young women. Since 2004, Sandra has trained around 700 female mechanics.
“We need to help as many young Nigerians as we can,” says Sandra, sitting in her bustling garage on the edge of the Lagos peninsula. “They are Nigeria’s future.”
Last year Rebecca joined Sandra’s two-year program, looking for a way out of the dark pit of prostitution and street life she had been spiraling down since the age of 14.
In a country with high unemployment and more than 60 percent of people living below the poverty line, prostitution and drugs are illusory tickets out of poverty for many of Nigeria’s youth.
“It’s all about the hustle in Lagos,” she says. “I just wanted a beginning.”
Few people know that hustle better than Sandra. She says she is Nigeria’s first female mechanic and wears the title like a hard-earned medal."
Read article by Chika Oduah and Lauren Bohn from Global Post.