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Zimbabwe's only female cross-border bus driver challenges women to come on board

by Staff Reporter
16 Mar 2020 at 12:55hrs | Views
"Tough it out" so said Katie Gillard a then 21-year-old truck driver who worked for Tarmac in United Kingdom (UK) in 2016. By then Gillard made up the 0.5% of female truck drivers in the UK. When she went to take her HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) practical exams, she was the only girl.

"I'm used to people doing a double-take when I'm driving," she said. "I get it every day, particularly when I'm sitting in traffic. It doesn't bother me too much. But from what I see, women are always going to be a minority in this industry. It's always going to be seen as a man's world."

This is the same story about the only cross-border female bus driver, Musa Mandy Matizanadzo a 42 year-old Zimbabwean who is "toughing it out" in the heavy duty industry. Matizanadzo currently possesses a Zimbabwean Class Two License for Trucks and South Africa's Code 14 License which is equivalent to Class One for buses in Zimbabwe which attained in 2017.

"I am a focused woman with confidence in whatever I do," said Matizanadzo.

"I am a go getter lady who operates big machines which includes Well Mobile Cranes, ForkLifts, Buses and Trucks. I sometimes drive long distance routes like South Africa-Zimbabwe (Harare). I also do Johannesburg-Cape Town and East London within South Africa. Most of the jobs I do come on freelance basis and I am impressed because most of my clients are very happy about my services and they squabble for me."

Matizanadzo is also setting her sight higher in the industry despite people viewing it as a male dominated field.

"My ambition is to become a major player in the Transport and Logistics space. I personally do not think there is such a thing called a male dominated field, the fact is what men can do, and women can also do. I am motivated by women who think outside the box and are not timid to take on any roles and challenges. I believe woman can achieve anything when given the chance and opportunity," she said.

Matizanadzo also disclosed that she aims to inspire fellow women to break into the heavy duty industries as also demonstrated by First Lady Auxillia Mnagagwa.

"I see myself as a model to other women who are willing to take the challenge and lead others without fear of prejudice and stigma. I was greatly encouraged by our mother, the first lady, Mnangagwa who acquired her Class One License as she showed other women that we can dominate the heavy duty sector. I will remain fighting within this industry for women to realise that they can also do it.  Let us recall that women are the most careful human beings especially when it comes to the roads and its laws. Where women are involved on roads there are less accidents," she added encouraging women to consider a career in this industry.

Matizanadzo also highlighted on the challenges confronting her in the industry.

"We are having challenges with men who think that women are not capable, especially driving long routes. They try by all means to discourage and harass us as women on roads physical and psychological.  The bureaucracy is another serious challenge and we have men who think that women can only rise to the occasion through their involvement as men. Other challenges come from passengers who do not have respect for female drivers. Some passengers are very derogatory towards women and this must come to an end as we are all equal partners in the industry with our male counter parts," she said.

Musa Matizanadzo can be contacted on: +27 73 060 1481

Source - Byo24News