- Khayakazi Somzana has become the first female Chief Marine Engineering Officer at East London
- She spent a long time working in the fields with her parents at home before her successful career
- She encourages more women to take on roles in male-dominated industries without fear
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By Zakithi Dlamini - Freelance Journalist
Nothing is impossible for women these days. A 37-year-old Khayakazi Somzana shines in a men's world as she becomes the first female Chief Marine Engineer Officer (CMEO) at Port of East London.
This brave diva’s tasks are huge as she is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of all machinery and engineering functions on Tugboats. Anything to do with repairs and maintenance on these boats, Khayakazi is your go-to lady. She said when she started she was the only female in the industry among men and sometimes felt small.
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Khayakazi said before her success, she spent a long time helping in the fields at home since her parents did not have money to further her studies. Her fate changed when she walked past the Port with her friend. She inquired about opportunities, tried her luck and her bravery led her to what she is today.
She only had N4 Electrical Engineering qualifications when she started. After qualifying as a Millwright, she then served as a Trainee Marine Engineer Officer. She then received a bursary for Maritime studies at the Durban University of Technology. She worked as a Second Engineer after completing her Maritime Studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
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The proud queen of the sea said she was inspired by her late father. “I used to help my father and learnt a lot from him. Finally, I'm living my dream,” she said.
Khayakazi said being in this industry came with challenges and it's not easy. However, she said perseverance leads to success. She admitted that there were times when she felt small when qualified millwrights sent her to fetch things such as spanner but then she ignored the negative voice and did her job with love and dedication. She encouraged other women to dominate world known to be for men.
“Never give up on your dreams. Work hard and pray all the time. Its never easy but it happens eventually,” she said.
The proud mother’s wish is to set a good example for her seven-year-old daughter and other women out there.
In other news, Ghanaian entrepreneur and creative genius, Hannah Akomeah, is a senior high school graduate who transforms used car tyres into stunning furniture.
The hardworking young lady turns car tyres into beautiful home furniture such as tables and round sofa that are comfortable.
Furniture making has for a long time been a male-dominated field but Hannah is one of many young women shaping and changing the narrative.
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