Meet Isa Abiola Fatima, Nigeria’s first female train driver, who started as a domestic staff with CCECC before becoming a driver in a male-dominated industry.
Nigeria’s first female train driver, Isa Fatima Abiola, a train driver with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), has shared her experience driving a train as well as her dream to become the best woman train driver in the world.
In a recent interview with BBC News Pidgin, she explained that becoming a train driver was her girlhood dream ever since she set her sight on a train at the age of 12.
She also revealed her journey from being a domestic staff with CCECC to becoming a train driver and how people laughed at her in a male-dominated industry.
Determined to achieve her lifelong dream, Isa began her rigorous two-year training in China. After completing her training, she also worked as a driver’s assistant for another two years in China to perfect her skills.
Rounding up her short interview with BBC, Fatima Abiola, who has been driving for four years, urge Nigerian women to join the male-dominated transportation industry as train drivers.
With this “breaking the gender barrier” achievement, Abiola joins list of Nigeria’s “women’s firsts”, which includes Mrs Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Chinyere Kalu, and Tolulope Arotile.
Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was the first Nigerian woman to drive a car while Chinyere Kalu was the first female Nigerian commercial pilot.
Recently deseased Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile was Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.