Odd Jobs:35Year Old Female Vulcanizer Tells Her Story
We love sharing stories of hardworking women who are making a honest living for themselves against all the odds stacked against them. One of such women is 35-year-old Bilkis Rafiu, a vulcanizer in Ilorin, she never thought she would end up as one but life has lead her to it and she is giving it her best shot.
In a report by Ibitoye Shittu of Naij, Bilkis Rafiu speaks on how she became a female vulcanizer in Ilorin and how this job is helping her build a future for herself and her family.
Below is an excerpt from the report on Naij
“I never believed that I would go into vulcanizing work as a woman, but when I came back from Lokoja where I had served under my sister, I met a man who is my current husband and he introduced the work to me,”
“Then, I used to observe how my husband do his work, and I used to see how many motorists used to patronise him in which I later developed interest for the job. “I approached him if I could be under him, and I even thought that he would scold me, but he accepted me and encouraged me not knowing that he would later become the father of my children,”
“My father has many wives, so he does not care about anyone, but my mother was against this job when I started as she claimed that the work is meant for men.
“The third day when I started learning this work, I had a serious cut in my left hand when I was trying to remove a tyre from the rim, and it took me three weeks before the wound healed up. “After recuperating, I told my mother that I would go back to vulcanizing work, and to my surprise, she agreed since that was what I wanted,”
When I started this work on my own on full time basis, a lot of people were asking me the reason why I decided to be a vulcanizer, and what I told them was I wanted something different as a woman. “There are so many ladies who are into tailoring, hair dressing and so on, but I thought this work would bring a lot of sales for me considering my status as a woman and I am happy up till now because I make up to Five thousand naira everyday from this job.
“Even my husband who also has his own shop does not make the sales I use to make here and for the past five years that I have started this work, I have never had any cause to regret doing this job,”