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Meet Madam Volvo, Female Mechanic Who Attracts Car Owners, Dreams To Train More Girls

Meet Madam Volvo, Female Mechanic Who Attracts Car Owners, Dreams To Train More Girls

Mrs Pricilia Ndika, popularly known as Madam Volvo, started working with cars when she was only 17 years. She was trained by the National Directorate of Employment in Aba, Abia State in 1989 and ever since then, she has not looked back in pursuing her dreams of ‘romance’ with cars, mostly Volvo cars.

“I specialize in Volvo cars. I work on other cars but I specialize on Volvos. I don’t even know why I chose Volvo cars but I know that it is how God wanted it. During the training, they asked us which car we wanted to specialize in but when someone doesn’t have any car in mind, they will choose one for you. When they took me to the Volvo workshop, I liked the car because it is a special car. That was how I got stuck with it,” she said.

The 50 year-old mechanic stated that even though she loves the work, it comes with its share of challenges. She disclosed that sometimes people she had worked on their cars will try to reel her in, in order not to pay for the work done.


“It is not all customers that you will please as an auto mechanic. You only work according to your conscience. Sometimes, when you work on their cars and everything is okay, because they don’t have the money to pay, they will start arguments with you so that they will go with their car without payment. Some will tell you that they will want to go and test the car and from there, they will just go and not come back. We just manage them like that and life goes on,” she added.

Another challenge , Ndika stated is most times car owners do not value the labour auto mechanics put in to make their cars work adding that they will rather pay peanuts for the work done.

“ They will be ready to buy parts for a huge amount of money but when it comes to labour, they will want to give you peanuts for your job. If you refuse to do it , they will take their cars to road side mechanics who will destroy their cars for them,” she stated.

As a female mechanic, Ndika added that sometimes the customers intimidate her by shouting at her after working on their cars.

“They will shout so that their price will be low or you leave them to go. Sometimes if they start like this, I will just tell them, “Oga, carry your wahala dey go. If you want to pay, you pay , if you don’t want to pay you go”. Those things are bound to happen. But as a woman, I will be feeling that they want to intimidate me,” she revealed.

The female mechanic who is managing a space at an uncompleted site in Jikwoyi, in the Federal Capital Territory, added that as a woman, another challenge she faces is getting a permanent workshop that will enable her work without any distraction.

“To get land here in Abuja is a problem because of the high price. Where I was before at Nyanya, I had to leave because the area council said they want to make use of it. Since then, I have not had any permanent place. The thing has been affecting me. If the owner of this land should come now, I don’t even know where to go again,” she lamented.

The mother of three however stated that as a woman, people loved bringing cars to her for repairs.

“Some of them, when they hear that I am a woman, will even bring the car for me to work on. And by God’s grace, they are getting a good job,” she said.

Ndika’s passion for cars is also supported by her family. She noted that her children come to the workshop to help her whenever they are on holidays.

“I started this work before I got married. Two months after delivery, I always resume work. During the holiday time, my children are here and they help out. They even have their uniforms here,” she said.

Ndika stated that since she started as a mechanic, she has not regretted and urged girls to consider becoming auto mechanic as it not only puts food on their table, but will also make them their own boss.

She noted that some women will think that the job will only make them look older adding that it is all lies as the job will only make one stronger and healthier.

“I am 50 years old and I am still looking good. Even yesterday, someone asked me, ‘Madam Volvo, you no dey old?’ I asked him how I will get old with all these exercises I do every day. I have been in this job for a long time. I find joy in this job. If I am angry and come to the shop, the anger disappears,” she narrated.

Ndika stated that her dream of being a mechanic has not been fully achieved as she hoped to build a standard workshop where she can train youths especially girls on the job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that there are 19,236 female auto mechanics (2.1% of all auto mechanics) and a total 130,174 women in the automotive repair and maintenance field. Ndika believes that if she could get assistance from the government or well-meaning Nigerians, she will be able to train more girls to become auto mechanics.

“I have been saying this on and on for a very long time. If the government can assist me to build a standard workshop that I will use to train the youths, it will go a long way to create jobs for youths. At least, when you talk to them, seeing a woman in a standard workshop, they will have the urge to learn but when there is no workshop, they won’t have the urge to learn.

Not everybody will have the type of passion I have for the job so the youths need to be shown the benefits. They need to be motivated to have the interest to work. Youths of today need skills and I am willing to help them achieve that. Apart from the joy you derive, you get your money too,” she said.

One of Ndika’s client, Edwin Igorchi disclosed that he has patronized her for years because of she always takes her time to repair his cars adding that when he decided to try another mechanic, his cars were not handled the way Ndika handles them.

“She has the patience in her to look for the problem in a car and fix them adequately. I tried other mechanics and they showed me pepper. Nobody advised me to come back to her,” he said.

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