Mrs Aniede : The Uncommon Woman!!!
My dearest, I welcome you specially to this beautiful month of December. I sincerely pray that today and the next 30 days would be your best days so far this year.
I am excited to inform you that lines are falling in pleasant places as it concerns my journey in the world of blogging and I must not fail to appreciate you for being a part of this success story; thank you so much dear.
I would love you to know that getting in touch with the star for this particular blog post wasn’t an easy one. I remember going to Gariki and standing at the park for over two hours one evening waiting for her (the female commercial bus driver). I am certain all Gariki drivers who saw me that day would never forget me in a hurry because I moved from “Jack” to “Jill” looking for her contact. I prayed against meeting those people who are so confident in giving wrong directions but unfortunately, I didn’t miss them especially two young guys who made me almost give up on my quest that day.
Fortunately for me, one gentleman driver reached out to Sergeant Okwor (the policeman on duty at Gariki junction) who promised to give my number to her anytime he saw her and I am grateful he did.
Today, with so much joy in my heart, I present to you Mrs. Nwakaego Florence Aniede, the Enugu Female Commercial Bus Driver.
After several weeks of rescheduling, we finally met on Wednesday, 29th of November, 2017. Trust me when I say I disturbed her with calls and text messages but all through, she was so cool and this virtue touched my heart. Because of my interview with her, she cancelled her usual trip from Old Park to Gariki just to make me happy. The meeting took place in her bus at the CPS bus stop close to Old UNTH, Enugu.
Madam Florence who was born on the 20th of February over four decades ago hails from Akpugo in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. She is married and has five children (four girls and one boy) of which the first two are graduates.
Her venture into the “supposed” world of men took place in 2012. Things were not financially smooth for the family and she chose not to relax but to scout for what to do in order to support the home. Her initial plan was to start selling provisions but she noticed it wouldn’t have much impact. On a beautiful day that year, she passed by an automobile workshop and observed a Toyota bus being worked on with the “For Sale” notice on it and there was an INSTANT DESIRE to own that bus. She approached one of the mechanics working on the vehicle and made enquiries about the bus. Mrs. Aniede was given the contact of the owner and after she explained to the owner that she would be the one to drive the bus for commercial purposes, with God’s favour at work, he gave her the documents of the bus with the agreement that she would take over the repairs of the vehicle which included fixing the engine and paying the sum of #80,000 (in installments) and through hard work, the deal was sealed.
She happily drove the bus for two years before she got this particular one pictured above. She shuttles Gariki to Old Park or Gariki- New Layout – New Market routes. I asked her if she goes outside Enugu and surprisingly, she said yes. According to her, sometimes, people book her to convey passengers or goods to places like Owerri, Nsukka etc. You will agree with me that it’s not out of place to describe her as a super woman!
Every successful person must face challenges and Mrs. Aniede (Mama Chidinma) is not an exception. As soon as she started hitting the road, most women didn’t like boarding her bus and there was a day someone actually asked her if it was because of poverty she had to do this. This made her shy and depressed for some days but after realising that the thoughts of people would never put food on her table, she stopped worrying and started working. She also shared the story of a policeman who apprehended her for not reaching the bus stop before her passengers alighted. She explained to him that she was new to the system but he refused and took her to the station. After much persuasion, he released her when she paid him #2,000 which was the money she was supposed to give her children that morning after her first trip. Her only son was mocked in school because he had a driver as a mum. She missed being a driver with Chisco transport just because she had no one to surety for her but despite all these annoying moments, her focus and dedication have blessed her handiwork as she is a mother of five enlightened children with a proud husband.
She is a helpless lover of egusi soup and worships at Christ Ascension Church, Meniru. She still sees herself driving in the next five years but in a more corporate form, that is, cab services. Her happiness lies in the fact that she could turn the situation around for good in her family instead of waiting for manna to fall from heaven.
I would love to quote her advise to single ladies verbatim: “Have something doing, not everyone should go to school. If you don’t have a sponsor, learn a skill or find work. Have savings with a target so that if you get married, problems will not be too much for your family“.
To the married woman, she advised them to ensure they support their husband’s income as it helps the growth of the family. She said: “Even if he doesn’t agree, convince him on the importance of your support”. Finally, she also believes that taking care of one’s children pays at the end as their success would be a reflection of your hardwork.
Honestly, I am blessed to have met Madam Florence. She just reminds me of the Biblical Virtuous Woman as stated in Proverbs 31 and her story inspired me to never give up on my blogging passion.
My dear reader, I trust you have learnt something(s) from this long but heart touching post. Don’t give up on your passion as long as it is useful because at the end you will reap good fruits.
Thank you so much for getting to this point. Kindly remember there are more blog posts to toast to. Have a December with a positive difference.
Till the next post, don’t forget you matter.
With so much love,