Meet Nasra Haji Hussein, Somalia’s first female car mechanic and works at a service garage. In the male dominated field, Nasra has been ridiculed and discouraged by many, but she says over time she has managed to build a regular customer base in a country where jobs are scarce
When Nasra Haji Hussein left home two years ago in search of a job in Mogadishu, working as a mechanic was not one of the options she had in mind.
After a ten-day journey Nasra arrived in the capital to stay with a relative.
She spent several months hunting for a job and eventually approached mechanics at the service garage where she found an opportunity as an apprentice.
“I repair different types of cars luxury cars, bullet proof cars and pickups. Sometimes I service trucks when they are brought to the garage.” Nasra said
Working in what is traditionally seen as a male domain, Nasra says at first she was ridiculed and chided for taking up the job, but over time she began to win customers.
One of her clients praises her job
“She has repaired my car very well and she did it right on time just as we agreed.” Nux Sheikh Abdi said.
For many youth, getting a solid education or even finding a job is difficult with the economic and security challenges Somalia continues to face.
Nasra encouraged Somalis to exploit various options. She is also spreading her message through social media.
“When I came to the city I wasn’t encouraged, no one offered me a job so I decided to become a mechanic to help my family. When I got paid and sent money to my parents, my father asked me where I got the money from, and I told him that I am a mechanic. He encouraged me to work harder.” She wrote
By challenging gender stereotypes in a country with limited opportunities, Nasra has been able to acquire new skills and build a career, while at the same time improve her family’s quality of life.