‘From becoming a roadside apprentice at 13 to building the Lady Mechanic brand’ -Ajayi Oluwatosin tells her story

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Technext chatted with The Lady Mechanic for this instalment of Women in Tech, and she discussed the constraints, obstacles, and challenges of her career.
Meet Ajayi Oluwatosin, the popular Lady Mechanic influencer
Meet Ajayi Oluwatosin, the popular Lady Mechanic influencer

Many Nigerians expect to see a man when they visit an auto shop. The automobile industry is male-dominated; most vulcanizers, panel beaters, roadside mechanics, and even Chief Executives of automobile companies are men; seeing a woman at the forefront of this industry is like the northern lights, a rare occasion.

Thankfully, several women, including Ajayi Oluwatosin –The Lady Mechanic– use their skills and talent to impact society in an area dominated by men positively. Technext chatted with The Lady Mechanic for this instalment of Women in Tech, and she discussed her career’s constraints, obstacles, and challenges.

Roadside apprentice to auto influencer
Meet Ajayi Oluwatosin, the popular Lady Mechanic influencer

During her childhood, Ajayi Oluwatosin loved exploring, repairing, and playing with gadgets. It was fun for her. Above all, she loved cars.

She was that kid who always wondered why the TV remote could suddenly stop working and what she could do to fix it. She figured out how to fix electrical and mechanical stuff around the house, extensions, remotes, and generators.

As an avid lover of cars, she decided to channel that energy of always “fixing things” to car repairs and automobiles.

Growing up, I loved cars so much and I just channeled that energy for repairs into automobiles. It is not like any of my family was or is an engineer or a mechanic. My mum is a teacher and my dad is a building contractor. I don’t have siblings that are in that line of field. It is all my choice.

Oluwatosin’s parents did not envision their baby girl becoming a ‘mechanic’ in blue, oil-stained overalls and sliding under a vehicle with a spanner. So they were not passionate about her passion.

While this would be a big issue for the family, Oluwatosin’s knight in shining armour came in the form of her aunt, who bought into the vision and supported her.

'From becoming a roadside apprentice at 13 to building the Lady Mechanic brand' -Ajayi Oluwatosin tells her story

She got registered for a two years apprenticeship program at a roadside mechanic workshop at age 13, which began her journey. When it was time to go to the university, the decision to study mechanical engineering was not difficult.

She has since established her auto shop and has become an influencer on social media, providing tips to car owners and chronicling her work.

The Lady Mechanic in a male-dominated environment
Meet Ajayi Oluwatosin, the popular Lady Mechanic influencer

As a woman working with and in a male-dominated environment, it has not been a rosy experience for Ajayi Oluwatosin. Some customers do not believe she can handle and repair their cars because she is a young lady.

Some do not even believe she is a mechanic; others criticize her and refuse her services because they think she will just “toy” with their cars and often ask for a male counterpart.

Similarly, some of the comments on her social media page imply that she is just an influencer and has people on the ground who run the services, even as she owns the Tush Lady Mechanic workshop and has grown a fan base.

For you to convince these people, it takes a whole lot of knowledge and most times, I ask them, would you like to come to my workshop and watch me do it?…

The Lady Mechanic

You know, when you love something, you don’t see them as a challenge in the long run. I see them as the reason why I should push more.

Having spent over 8yrs in this field, these challenges are becoming a normal reoccurrence, and she has gotten used to them. She often believes it is ignorance, especially as she is doing something different from many other women. She responds to these challenges by deepening her knowledge in the field.

Apart from her Bachelor’s degree, she has also bagged two more certificates from different automobile engineering training centres. Ajayi Oluwatosin has also built her workshop and has employed staff to help with her business.

Advice for women

Although society has tagged mechanics as a dirty job and a job that requires manual strength, which is very common with the male gender, the lady mechanic, believes it is so much more than that.

You don’t have to be a tom boy to do this job or have muscles. You can still do your normal lady thing comfortably.

For her, it also requires knowledge and mental strength, particularly because it has to do with technical issues, which are common attributes among both genders. The goal of making it in the field is your enthusiasm and determination to grab as much knowledge as possible. This will put you in front even as a lady and give you so much respect among your peers.

She is also looking at running a mentorship program very soon for women to educate and inspire them to penetrate the industry, just as she has done.

Her shop is located in 30/32 ilasamaja road, Mushin Lagos.

Apart from repairing cars, Tosin loves planning events and cooking.


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