(ERGO) – When passengers call for a ride in the northern Somali port town of Bossaso using a local taxi hailing app, they are invariably surprised to see Ikran Yusuf Abudllahi sitting behind the wheel.
Ikran, a university graduate and mother of three, is currently the only female taxi driver in Bossaso. But she recommends the job to other women.
“All graduate women want office jobs and they can’t get them so graduate women are either jobless, or thinking of marriage. I wanted to show them that women can work!” Ikran told Radio Ergo.
After a five-month driving course, Ikran took to the road in August with her own car.
She bought the car, a Probox, for $2,750 from the proceeds of selling off her small clothes business worth $2,000 along with $750 sent by her sister who lives abroad.
Ikran is happy to be earning $300 to $400 a month from driving, which has improved her family’s standard of living and enabled her to pay the $45school fees for her two sons and one daughter.
She and her husband, who is out of a job at the moment, have worked out their own childcare arrangements.
“My husband helps me with the children. You know, children need to be looked after and if both parents are away, it is not a proper way of providing for their care,” she said.
Ikran has shown business flair since starting a clothes stall whilst still a student. After graduating in accountancy in 2016 from East Africa University in Bossaso, she was determined to find a way of becoming self-reliant.
She also says she wants to be a role model for Puntland women and urges other women to look at the kind of work she is doing.
Using savings from the last three months and with $2,000 from her mother, she is importing a car from the United Arab Emirates for resale in Bossaso. Her ambition is to move towards owning her own small fleet of taxis and becoming an employer.