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‘Women should make themselves relevant to the society’



‘Women should make themselves relevant to the society’

For a female cobbler, Dorcas Lewis not only came, but saw and conquered in a field strictly meant for men. Lady D, as she is famously addressed in her community, encountered breakthrough in making shoes and since then, she has never had cause to regret the decision against her medical line. . In a chat with Mary Olabinjo, Lady D said she would want to come back as a lady cobbler in her next world



What were you doing before becoming a cobbler
I was working as a mid-wife at the University Teaching Hospital (UCH), Ibadan for five years. I studied Nursing in the University of Ibadan but I decided to quit the job because my expenditure was higher than my income making my salary insufficient for me. Also, the stress I pass through daily, sleeping late and waking up early to be punctual at work made me decide to quit my job. I also loved to be self employed because I didn’t want to serve the government all my life but also want people to serve me. I was also sure that eventually when I stop working, I wouldn’t want to become jobless but to have a trade at hand, so I decided to go into cobbling business which I found to be very worthwhile.

Why the choice of a cobbler?
I chose to be a cobbler because I wanted a trade which was not common, lots of women are into trades like sewing ,hairdressing and so on, I decided to be a unique woman who would stand out among other women. If I had gone into other trades, I would just be a common woman. But, I want to be a different personality and wanted to challenge men. Also, I want to enlighten the society on the fact that all humans are equal and we can do all things, as such, there should not be segregation nor discrimination on any sex, everyone can be what he or she desires, so long the determination is there.

What were the challenges you faced as a female cobbler and how were you able to overcome them?
To be a successful person you must face challenges, to help you become a better person. My first challenge was the various tools used in making shoes that was no more. The other challenge was the many insults people gave me. Lots of women insulted me on my choice of becoming a cobbler, they mocked me and believed I wouldn’t do well in it. Despite that, many men encouraged me to go on in my choice.

Their words of encouragement helped me, couple with my determination to become successful in the career kept me focused and never allowed me to back out off my dream. Through this, I was able to achieve my goal. Some do think I wasn’t as good as some men when they are introduced to me, they see me as not being capable but after the completion of their Jobs, they marvel because it would be beyond their expectation.

What are your achievements so far on the trade?
Being a cobbler, I have trained lots of people who are now contributing positively to the society. Being a successful person means, you have imparted a lot into lives. As a boss, my apprentice can always look back and remember that I did a great job in their lives. During their apprenticeship, and they shared their problems with me I helped them through, thereby making me a problem solver. Again, plenty women who shy away from lots of things which could profit them, whenever they see me get gingered to pursue their goals believing the fact that if I as a woman could achieve this far, they could also achieve their dreams and this has made me a source of motivation to other, I am happy about that.

How will you compare the present job to the former?
I feel so pleased with this job than the former. The income I get from this job is worthwhile, I don’t need to wait till the end of the month before receiving salary, even sometimes the salaries get delayed. But now, I get money on daily basis which is even far more than my former salary. Most importantly, I have more time for my kids as they meet me at home whenever they return from school unlike when I was a civil servant where I would still be at work place when my kids are at home making me not have enough time for them. I felt guilty that time.

What’s your view on women are to be seen not heard?
This adage that women are to be seen not heard occurred during the time of our fathers because most women were not educated and were always at home taking care of their children when they were on the farm working. But in this computer age, women are now educated, it would be unwise if the knowledge they acquired from education is not used to contribute great things to the society. This however has made women become great personnel and is seen in reputable places. If various women are now successful, I do not see why anyone would believe such. All women should strive to be heard and seen to better the society than the way they met it.

What is your advice to fellow women out there?
I advice women to have a goal and remain focused, In as much they are focused on their goals nothing can stop them from fulfilling or achieving this .All women should try to contribute their quota to the society as this would make them relevant in the society.

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