Young female mechanic explains how she got into profession

Chidinma Clement, who faced strong discouragement from her peers is committed to a career in mechanical work.

In a chat with LFB Online, the final year student of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State, revealed that she ventured into auto-repair work at the age of 13, thanks to the influence of her father, Obinwanne Clement who gave her all the skills she needed to become a celebrated machinist.

The attention received by the undergraduate began in December 2017, when her viral images circulated the internet making her a sensation among her circle and far beyond.

This life changing encounter offered her the opportunity to meet the governor of her state, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, while attending a women summit.

"I've always loved to solve a problem especially when it concerns dismantling and coupling, even a little girl," she began in her interview.

"There's this joy I found inside, whenever I'm doing it. I started motorcycle repairing  when I was 13years,that's about 10years ago under the tutelage of my father.

"I don't see it as a dirty job. When I got admitted into the University I thought I would stop it because of the series of advice I received from my friends and others who call me all sorts of names.

"Some  of my friends advised that I learn hairdressing in order to help myself in school rather than mechanic, but I noticed that I was unhappy doing other stuffs and the truth is I don't understand anything that doesn't have to do with Spanners and Engine. So I dropped all their advices for what makes me happy".

A proactive Chidinma is already looking at diversifying.

According to the skilled mechanic, repairing motorcycles in Abia State is not so lucrative due to a ban in some areas.

While giving thanks to God for her prowess, the female technician expressed that she hopes to take up a new interest but it must be one that must entail mechanical work.

"It has not been easy, coming from a family of nine and my mother not been there for me, I suffered a lot in school, just to put a smile on my father's face.

"I have been humiliated, embarrassed for doing this job, but the God has been my sole strength.

"As  a motorbike mechanic, it is not everyone that use bike. In some parts of the state motorcyclist have been banned, which means this job might fade away with time.

"So I'm looking at the future. I really want to advance in other area. I  will like to get more knowledge but it must be something that has to do with dismantling and coupling," she said.

In a society where women chiefly rely on men to get by, Chidinma advised the opposite. She called on her female contemporaries to believe in themselves, avoid disturbances and bestow their trust in God.

"My advice to females out there is that they should not wait for any man or woman to help them before they help themselves. You have to make a move. You have to believe in yourself. Don't allow people's idea and opinion to make you feel bad.

"You must be mocked, embarrassed and humiliated but you must hold on to God. Those that mock you must come to congratulate you.

"When you hope on relatives, friends and family they must fail because you are supposed to Hope on God and not human. You may not know who loves you and who wants you to go forward. So avoid all distractions and stay focused."

Chidinma Clement who met Ikpeazu on Friday, December 22, 2017, described the Abia State governor as a "calm man".

According to her, meeting him was a divine intervention.

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