Womechanics at your service!
While the Covid-19 economic crunch left many out of work, it has for others provided an impetus to start something new.
Two local women were not going to let the pandemic get them down. Centurion-based architect Nadia Lloyd-Lister and Roshida Carol Mokhabukhi met in May when Lloyd-Lister went to her local Shoprite to buy a few essentials.
She ran into Mokhabukhi outside the store where she was selling masks her sister had made to generate some income. She had just been retrenched as a result of the pandemic.
“I approached her to buy a mask and we started talking. We exchanged numbers as I was going to assist her in upgrading her CV when I found out that she was a trained car mechanic with experience and knowledge of most cars,” Lloyd-Lister said.
Mokhabukhi had worked for AA at a stage doing roadside assistance and had often been called on to help men change tyres.
They decided to get together to start up their own motor mechanic business – with a twist: called Womechanics. Like many other women-only services, their business is designed to make women feel more comfortable when seeking car assistance.
“Through transparency and knowledge sharing, we want to empower women to understand their car and its needs,” Lloyd-Lister said.
She is a tenacious woman who, apart from being a registered architect, has experience in the construction industry. As this industry also took a financial knock, she took a voluntary retrenchment package.
“I have always been hands-on and can work with power tools and mostly do all my own home maintenance,” she said.
Mokhabukhi, who holds a national diploma in mechanical engineering and has done her motor mechanic trade test is equally driven.
“I once asked one of the mechanics to repair a brake light for me. It was so simple but he made it look like hard labour and I paid him R300 for the job,” she laughed.
Mokhabukhi said she realised that women unnecessarily spent a lot of money on vehicle repairs as they did not understand how they worked.
“I developed an interest to know how cars operated. I questioned why there were more males in the industry than females. I wanted to challenge myself to see whether I was brave enough to conquer and see what I am capable of doing. I always loved doing things differently from others.”
The two women said they realised there was a gap in the market for an all-women mechanics and they decided to jump in.
They not only offer regular services in the comfort of customers’ own home, but they also offer roadside assistance, even for those small things like changing a tyre, jump-starting or bringing petrol if you run out.
Their goal is to open their first workshop and eventually have a branch in every major city in the country.
“We want to develop an apprenticeship programme for girls who cannot afford to study but have a passion to work with their hands.
"We are all for women empowerment. Womandla!”
To contact them, call or WhatsApp them on 068 176 8797.