Sandra Aguebor is the Founder of Lady Mechanic Initiative, who despite her mother’s discouragement pursued her dreams of being a mechanic.
Sandra who started training as a little girl in 1983 now has over 1, 000 female trainees in five different states, (Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Edo and Lagos).
She has also built a system of female mechanics while training former sex workers, vulnerable school dropouts, married women, and youth corpers for free.
In an interview with Tobi Aworinde Of Punch, Sandra talks about her entrepreneurial journey and how she has influenced the lives of other young women.
She shared some of their stories;
The greatest grass-to-grace story is of the girls who I recruit from Kuramo (Beach), Lagos. It is a wonderful thing. When I see them today, I remember how we took them out of the brothels. Now, they no longer engage in social vices — selling their bodies in exchange for men’s money. They have gone from being victims of trafficking to female mechanics. They now have their dignity and independence.
We work with the vulnerable, school dropouts, married women who want to acquire the skills, youth corps members who are only knowledgeable about theory, etc. They use any of our modules ranging from three months through six months and one year. The most important thing is that our training is for free. In fact, we pay them N10,000 monthly to learn because know they don’t have money and we don’t want them to fall back on those social vices.
I can sleep in the garage. I love my family. I love my over 1,000 girls (trainees) in five states (Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Edo and Lagos); we are one big family. When they come to me, I become like a mother. We talk about others things beyond just the skills. We also do self-help programmes.