Hajiya Gambo Muhammad, a senior driver in Dangote Cement Transport Obajana, has a high popularity rate among her officers at the transport department within the company. She was 18 years when she started driving a truck.
Tell us about your up-bringing
I was born in Jajimaji, Karasuwa, Yobe State. I am 35 years old. I completed my primary school and then got married, though we later separated. I even inherited driving from my father who was a driver for a decade. Also, my brothers were drivers and I am the only female among them, that is why I joined the line of driving.
Where Did You Learn How To Drive A Truck In Particular?
I learnt how to drive through my husband. At first I usually observed how he drove and I made up my mind that one day I would also learn. Later, I began to ask him to teach me driving. The first time he disagreed on my proposal, but eventually, he agreed because he thought I would not be able to cope because it is not easy. Not every male driver can drive a truck talk more of me being a female. I insisted that I was ready to learn, so he gave the directive to his partner to teach me and that was how I began to learn.
How Many Years Have You Spent As A Driver?
I started driving since I was a teenager. I started by driving up and down the main road till I eventually became a perfect and guaranteed driver. So when my husband and I got separated, I obtained a driving license and identification card from Dangote cement Transport, Obajana. Now I have spent 12 years working with the company. We are working together with my former husband in the same company.
Usually, I prefer driving overnight. I drive around 1:30 to 3:00am in the night to everywhere I am going across the country.
How Did You Become A Part Of This Business As A Driver?
Yes, I believed that driving is a very good business and that anyone can be a part of it, so I decided on choosing it as my best option. That is the reason I am in it, even though I am a female.
What Is Your Ambition In This Business?
I thank Almighty Allah, who created me, and decide to make me a truck driver. Obviously, I obtained so many things through this business, they are uncountable. I have established a lot of businesses including transportation as well. Now as I am discussing with you, I own my personal truck which I gave to someone else to do the driving, I thank him (Almighty Allah).
I really appreciate the fact that the chairman of the company, Aliko Dangote used to offer me direct access to any one of his managers including himself. I am specially treated, better than all my colleagues everywhere we gather at any given station, whether on queue of fueling, loading or off-loading, as a result of my gender.
What Is Your Message To All Females?
Being a female by sex should not disqualify you from being a driver. I am not the only woman doing it. We are many, I am from Yobe State and Hajiya Rafi’atu is from Katsina State. We are all from the North. I see nothing difficult in it, all you need is just determination, simple.
Are You Considering Marriage?
Yes, I am considering marriage and I am ready for it. Once I get a good proposal, I will go for it.
Do You Have Children With Your Former Husband?
No, I have no child with him.