Uyiringiye Aliane, 20, is the only female mechanic in Comesa Garage Ltd in Sonatube in Kigali. As the firstborn in her family, she works to pay for her sibling’s Community Health Insurance (Mituelle) and other needs.
“Many women out their love working in offices doing stress-free kind of work, but I chose to become a mechanic because I did my diploma in a mechanic and I also loved and have determination for it," said Ms Uyiringiye.
“I started doing this work of simonising vehicles in 2017 after my education, of which I shine and polish cars here at COMESA Garage Ltd,” said Ms Uyiringiye.
“I love this work so much. I work on a weekly basis; I don’t work during weekends. Everyday, by 7:30 am I am at work until 5 to 6pm in the evening," said MsUyiringiye. "I am able to work on two vehicles a day, of which one earns me Rwf 5000,"she added.
“They say try, but never fail to try,” said Ms Uyiringiye, who added that if she had not tried being a mechanic, she would never have known how simple it is.
"In a month, I could earn Rwf50,000 and more. There are challenges in this job. First, people who discourage me every single day to leave my job, and also for working in a garage as the only female of which they still think is not appropriate for a woman to be doing such a job,” said Ms Uyiringiye.
“The other challenge is ignorance. some men and women still don’t believe that a woman can repair a vehicle or work in a garage. Some customers will think ten times before giving me a vehicle to repair,” said Ms Uyiringiye because they think I do not stand out.
"My joy as a female mechanic is having to see my clients happy for the good work done in their vehicles, and also the encouragement is given by workmates to keep up the good work motivates me more,"" said Ms Uyiringiye.
"My message to other women and girls out there is: Do not fear. work is work. Do not delay finding a job because you waiting for a white-collar job and nothing is hard for a woman, it’s only in the mind," said Ms Uyiringiye, adding; don’t be afraid to try out other careers that people think are meant for men."
According to her, schools should also encourage girls to pursue courses that need one to use practical skills without fear, in order to increase the number of women working in such areas.
“My dream is to be my own boss, have my own garage and train more girls and women in this trade,” said Ms Uyiringiye.
"Having achieved that, I will be known as the Rwandan female mechanic who was able to have her own garage, train, and mentor girls into this," Ms Uyiringiye added.