Women of Substance





Gambia my sweet home is producing stars. 

By Matie Daffeh

Yes! It is producing Sheros that we can be proud of as a nation. My grandmother would have taken me a fool if I should tell her some day women will be captains sailing ferries in the River Gambia or else where in the world. Anyway, grandma, we are getting there although at a slower pace that I or another young mind would have wanted. 

I was overwhelmed on this fateful morning when a guy just next to me in the ferry heading to Barra told me casually that the captain of the ferry we boarding is a woman. With astonishment, I raised up my head with joy trying to confirm his statement. When I confirmed this, I looked at him in the eye and said you made my day dear! 

Without uttering another word, I just walked towards the stepladder to the captain’s cabin. When I tried to climb up to meet this super star, those around me started asking where I was going and why. I want to hug and say congrats to this super lady, I told them. Above all, we had a smooth sail. THIS ONLY REMINDS ME OF THE CAREFUL NATURE OF WOMEN. I am proud of you LADY I emphasized. A chill of pride was felt in my throat. She made my day radiant. I smiled at myself as a proud woman and moved on.
This makes a great difference in the lives of women. Please join me in commending Lady Chilel, our Super Star. Sailing the ferry from Banjul-Barra shows that female engineers are making a difference in the lives of people. The transportation sector is an area that requires greater female inclusion. Women are on the rise as pilots, drivers of trains and cars although the engineering sector is still a male dominated area. Change is possible and we can do it!
Finally, I want to say that our girls and women dreaming to become full fledge engineers. These dreams will materialize when we invest on them equally and do not become guardians who only support the extension of “feminine” roles into the corporate world. The conditions attached for our girls’ include: determination, hard work and commitment. Critics will always challenge or try to defocus us; the respond to them is we know what we want!

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