Clement Chidinma is a final year student of mechanical engineering at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. In this interview with our correspondent, Kabir Adejumo, speaks on her passion for the rather male-centric work of a motorcycle mechanic. Enjoy.
CR: Why did you choose to be a mechanic?
Chidinma: I have always wanted to become a mechanical engineer. It all started when I was little. I see it as part of me to the extent of pursuing it and also, I love handling spanner and hammer.
CR: As a student of University, don’t you feel isolated from your colleagues when you put on a mechanic uniform?
Chidinma: Not at all because I am created to be myself not to be anyone else. I can’t be ashamed of what puts food on my table. As a university student, it is through the mechanic work I pay my bills and you cannot believe if I tell you I am a mechanic because I dress well. So there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
CR: How do you ensure a balance between the mechanic work and academics?
Chidinma: It has not been easy but you have to know that there is time for everything. By the grace of God, I am managing both.
CR: If you are not a mechanic, what other professions would you have loved to go into?
Chidinma: Actually, I am not only a mechanic. I am also a mechanical engineering student and my course of study is broad and I love agriculture so much. I can do that very well too.
CR: What are the challenges so far?
Chidinma: I have faced so many challenges as a female mechanic. Years back they banned motorcycle in some areas of the state (Abia), that made some of our customers to sell their motorcycles, making things difficult a bit but thank God that some people are still with theirs. But in future, I will look into other areas beyond motorcycle.
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