John ODHE, Yenagoa
She resolutely believes in the school of thought that anybody can achieve any set target if he or she is committed and dedicated to that course which they so believe in, irrespective of the gender.
She is equally not in doubt that chasing after white collar jobs in today’s Nigeria, no matter your certificate, is almost identical with chasing one’s shadow if not ‘highly connected,’ as it is often said in our local parlance.
The above are the reasons Miss Faith Lesley Omoniye, an English Language Graduate from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rivers State, decided to abandon her University certificate to become a welder. The passion and innate crave for creativity, self -reliance and the zeal to impact lives positively are her other propelling forces.
Omoniye said though welding was a vocation dominated by the male folk, women were also making great strides in the industry.
She bemoaned the situation where the women folk deliberately shy away from becoming welders, pipe fitters etc, attributing it to the erroneous belief that the welding profession was meant for the men folk alone, against the popular saying that “what a man can do, a woman can do if not better”.
Speaking toTNN in her office in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, the Toru-Angiama born professional welder with about a decade of experience in the industry, explained that her foray into welding started while she was serving out her compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) in Abia State.
According to her, during her stint with a welding company as a temporary staff she became interested in what they were doing and told her employer that she would like to be trained as a welder. She said her employer initially insisted that welding was not a female job but upon her persistent, she was admitted and trained as a certified welder after one and a half year of intensive training.
“After completing my training, I returned to Yenagoa and worked with a welding company.
She disclosed that upon returning to the house to inform her father that she wanted to be a welder instead of taking up the conventional white collar jobs for graduates, at first her father resisted her choice of career decision, as according to him, welding was not a vocation for females and that the welding work will affect her sight but with much persuasion and persistence he had to give his blessings.
The Bayelsa born female welder said she owes a lot of gratitude to her father, who as a civil servant, now retired, was able to raise money through cooperative society to buy a generator and a welding machine to enable her start her own welding firm.
Omoniye advised Bayelsa youths to remain focused and be determined to succeed in their chosen career as according to her success was a choice you make, adding that good success was when one mentors other in their profession.
She advised young ladies to take inspiration from her success story by learning a skill to become self-reliant, saying that they should jettison the idea that they have to sleep around with men to succeed in life but rather nurse a dream, work hard and be dedicated to achieving the dream.
She used the medium to call on Bayelsa youths who are interested in learning mental works as well as acquiring other skills to avail themselves of the opportunity as the company also run apprenticeship schemes with different durations.