Sandra Aguebor is Nigeria’s first woman mechanic. She is also the founder of The Lady Mechanic Initiative, which teaches women from diverse backgrounds how to fix cars and become financially independent.
Sandra says that she developed an interest in cars when she was just 13-years old. When she revealed this to her father, he was shocked and tried to discourage her. But Sandra was determined.
She began her career in the 1980s working at a local garage where she learned everything she knows. She then attended Benin Technical College to take a vocational course in fixing automobiles. After graduating, she ended up working for another repair shop before she finally decided that she wanted to start her own business.
Now, she has been fixing cars for 36 years and running her own shop for 22 years in Lagos, Nigeria – Africa’s largest city. During a feature on CNN, she commented, “For me to become the first female mechanic in Nigeria, I had to work five times harder… and prove myself.”
Her experience has inspired her to help other women to do the same. Her non-profit organization brings women from all over Africa to Nigeria to learn to fix cars. Her hands-on skills training and classroom curriculum in auto mechanic/electrician, professional driving, generator repairs, speedboat repairs and house plumbing helps women so that they too can one day own their own garage.
Her goal ultimately is to help 100,000 women achieve this goal.