[dropcap]W[/dropcap]atched from a distance, she did her job with the kind of gusto and dexterity commonly found in modern day youths, while pinging on sophisticated touch-screen mobile phones or tablets. But rather than pinging, Mary Fashipe, 27, automobile mechanic since 2012, is more passionate about ensuring that engine pistons are not in any pain. She is thorough. With smiles, she handles her tools as if engaging in pass time.
At a tender age of 12, Mary became an orphan, but rather than going wayward, she developed passion for a vocation mostly associated with men in Nigerian society.
Only female and youngest among eight Auto mechanics and technicians working at Automatic Fits and Energy Limited’s Express Service Centre located at Total Filling Station near Lagos Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Mary is married to her job.
Speaking exclusively to Motoring World International recently, the female mechanic sent words of encouragement to fellow youths of her generation and on their behalf, sends a clear message to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Motoring World: For how long have you been with Automatic Fit and Energy Limited?
Miss Fashipe: Three years
Motoring World: Where and how did learn this job?
Miss Fashipe: I was trained at Lady Mechanic Initiative established by Sandra Aguebor-Ekperuo. After secondary school, I learnt about Sandra, lady mechanic. I went there, collected the form and filled it, got admitted for training. I graduated 2011.
Motoring World: And what happened afterwards?
Miss Fashipe: After graduating, I did internship with The Honda Place. She (Sandra Aguebor-Ekperuo) was supposed to look for job for us, but she could not. Then we were about 23. I made efforts to look for job by myself. I later got one at Automatic Fits and Energy.
Motoring World: How has the experience been like working with Automatic Fit and Energy?
Miss Fashipe: Two weeks after I started working, I was transferred to Abuja, where I worked for two years before being transferred back to Lagos, first Alapere and later here. I enjoy working with them. More so, I love the job and I am enjoying it.
Motoring World: What is the nature of your job at this centre?
Miss Fashipe: I do quick service like changing of oil, plugs, filters and so on. Then I do wheel balancing and alignment.
Motoring World: A while ago I saw you using blower to sort of puff the engine compartment. What was that for?
Miss Fashipe: When a car is being driven, dusts enter the radiator and the other parts of the engine, including the air filter, hence the reason we use the blower to remove dusts and dirt. And that action especially helps the injector to work fine. It’s like human nose. When your nose is blocked, you’d find it difficult to breathe. When the air filter is blocked by dusts and dirt, it won’t do the protective work it should do for the injector. And the injector could be affected. That is why it’s important we use the blower to remove the dusts whenever we do engine service.
Motoring World: How far do you wish to go in this career?
Miss Fashipe: My ambition is to become self-employed, establish my own service centre like this. I don’t want to continue to be an employee for long. Yes, there is nothing God cannot do. I pray God takes me from here to a high level. I have the ambition to establish and become an employer of labour.
Motoring World: If you were opportune to speak to Nigerian President, what will you tell him?
Miss Fashipe: If I have the opportunity to see President Buhari now, I will tell him to ensure his government create jobs for the youths and also find a way of assisting the youths, who need help to become self employed. Like me now, I can do what I am doing here on my own, but I don’t have the fund to set up.
Motoring World: As you are probably aware, not many Nigerian youths have the kind of mindset you had before going into this profession. What would you like to say to them?
Miss Fashipe: Well, as far as I know, most other females may not be strong like me. I know I am strong. I lost my parents at the age of 12. But I did not give up. I believe strongly that I would make it. I can do anything by myself. So my advice to fellow youths, who find themselves in state of hopelessness, is that they should not give up, be ready to do anything to make something. It could even be tailoring, hairdressing or anything their hands find doing. They can make it.
Motoring World: What are your hobbies?
Miss Fashipe: I love singing; I am a choir-mistress in my church. I love Swimming. I go to church on Sunday and then go swimming afterwards.
Motoring World: Is there anything you want to tell me that I did not ask questions about?
Miss Fashipe: I appeal to readers of Motoring World, who are in position to assist me with funding or equipment to please do so; I will be happy.
[box type=”info” ]”If I have the opportunity to see President Buhari now, I will tell him to ensure his government create jobs for the youths and also find a way of assisting the youths, who need help to become self employed. Like me now, I can do what I am doing here on my own, but I don’t have the fund to set up.” – Lady Mechanic Mary Fashipe[/box]