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Friday, 10 July 2015

Meet the Nigerian woman who is a professional painter, tiler, and plumber

Freelance reporter Austin Edoho sent in the report. Read below...
Fatimah Ibrahim is a 39 year old widow, a mother of two, from Borno state. A chance encounter with her on the street would most certainly portray her as just one of the thousands of ordinary women walking the streets of Lagos. But meeting her at a building site would startlingly reveal the other side of her! This woman is a professional painter, tiler, and plumber! When asked how and why she entered into professions dominated by men, she had this to say,
“I have always loved painting .My friend’s husband who is a painter taught me how to paint, and I started painting even when my husband was alive. Later, I picked interest in tiling and plumbing profession, and I went for the training. Right now, after my husband’s death, I am proud to say I am a professional painter, tiler, and plumber. To me being a woman doesn’t really matter”
As must be expected, Fatimah is confronted with some challenges which centers mainly on gender disparity. “It’s been hard getting work. Some people give me jobs to do, and they are never disappointed; but others are just reluctant to trust me with their buildings, because they still find it difficult to believe the fact that a woman can do these jobs, and even do them better than men
"She called on the public and the government to give her contracts and test her level of capability. She also stressed that these were her means of livelihood. “I am a widow. I have two children aged 13 and 9.I am not begging the public for food, as I have been blessed with the means of providing for my children. All I am asking if for Individuals, contractors, Government to give me jobs so I can make money and take care of my children and other widows who are not so fortunate to have vocations like mine”

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