Durban — A woman who was the only female in her learnership group now drives Shoprite’s heavy-duty 22-wheeler trucks across the country and beyond.
Recently, Nosihle Mohunu, 27, who hails from Keate’s Drift, uMzinyathi District Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, received a hero’s welcome when she passed through her home town behind the wheel of a Shoprite truck.
She has also captured the attention of TikTok users for driving a Shoprite heavy-duty, 22-wheeler vehicle. It was a special moment when Mohunu’s mother, family and community members saw her behind the wheel for the first time.
“It’s not every day that you see female truck drivers in my home town, so this achievement is a dream come true for me and my community. I’m proud to be a source of motivation for other young women, proving that gender should not limit your goals or aspirations,” Mohunu said.
She said: “It’s daunting because I never thought I would be in a position where so many people would be inspired by my story. I just pray I don’t disappoint any of them and remain a good role model.”
@nosihleoprintayo I must be really grateful, all thanks to Transrite for this great opportunity 🥺🥺 #femaledriver #womaninlogistics #code14 #transrite #truckdriver ♬ original sound - naledie
Mohunu’s TikTok video has been watched more than 700 000 times, liked more than 80 000 times and received more than 3 600 comments and almost 500 shares.
The video contained the words: “Passed my home town for the first time. Mommy seeing her daughter riding this big toy for the first time.”
Speaking about this moment, Mohunu said: “I was very happy, even I was proud. My mother was scared of me being on the road, but then she saw me. She would always call and ask me not to speed.”
Mohunu is also a mother to two children, a girl, 7, and a boy, 3.
She said she did not have a car and taking into account her working hours, she did not have enough time to go home. It all depends on her schedule, but she can always ask for leave.
Giving a recent example, Mohunu said she worked a 24-hour trip where she and a colleague drove to Mpumalanga.
They also had five-hour, eight-hour or 12-hour trips. The depot she works out of is in Verulam. Two Sundays ago she drove to eSwatini.
Mohunu achieved her Code 14 driver’s licence in 2021, inspired by the frequent passing of trucks near her home. She secured a learnership opportunity with Shoprite and joined the company in December 2022 after completing a practical assessment.
“I worked in retail then I did my Code 14 instead of Code 10. After doing Code 14 I wanted to drive. I just loved trucks, so I started looking for a job when I had my licence.”
She said she always felt moved when she saw trucks on the road.
Speaking more on her learnership, Mohunu said: “The men I started the learnership with, I was the only woman, they call me a ntsizwa (young man), but I go by Nosihle.”
Being the only woman, Mohunu said: “It didn’t discourage me. It made me proud of myself. When I started at work, they told me that there were only two women. I saw that as a big deal. I had somehow made history. Even in class, I was told many women apply, they get tested and many fail, but I was able to pass.
“It made me happy that I was probably one of three people who made history. Others will now follow.”
Mohunu said Shoprite was her first trucking experience. The learnership was her way in and when it ended she got the job.
@nosihleoprintayo Replying to @itirelengfulathel [email protected] or [email protected] #truckdriving #womaninlogistics #SAMA28 ♬ Emayoli (Slow Jam) - Danger Shayumthetho & K-zin Isgebengu
Besides using her TikTok account as an entertainment portal, she also uses it to encourage others and tell them about her job. She is determined to encourage other young women to pursue their dreams, even if driving trucks is unconventional.
“There are a lot of women in the trucking industry, but I think many of them are afraid. I think that maybe seeing another woman doing this job will encourage them. Many say they get motivated. Some don’t have Code 14 but now they will do it because they saw me doing it,” Mohunu said.
She motivated men and women, with or without licences, wanting to get into the industry, not to give up.
“If you keep trying, it works out in the end. Patience brings success,” Mohunu said.