Seeing a female building painter in Nigeria is an anomaly. This is why Anih Blessing John‘s story is such a special one, as she is thriving in the male-dominated field.
Anih became a painter after she left secondary school, as her parents could not afford to give her money to further her education, Vanguard reports.
“After my secondary School education in Enugu State, I came to Abuja to live with my elder sister since there was nobody to help further my education.
The only way to survive was to get something that brings me money. I ventured into jobs like selling plumbing materials and phone booth business, and then I met a friend called Zaccheus. We call him “The Lion”, who was into painting and I decided to join him and he taught me the job. I’ve been doing this for the past two years and I love my job because it brings me satisfaction.
I need money to enable me to meet my needs and the way I know I can get it is through hard work,” she said.
Anih also stated that she would encourage other females to go into painting, as it is a great source of income, and working hours are flexible.
“I would encourage my female siblings to go into painting because apart from the fact that you do not have to go to work every day, it also affords you time to do other things since you are not working for anyone and you also make a lot of money from painting. For instance, I could make what some people make in a month in just a week.”
When asked whether she was afraid of falling while painting tall buildings, she said “Everyone doing this job is at the risk of falling; not just me, even the men. It takes the mind to do a job like this. I believe if these men can climb and not fall, I can also do it.”
Anih believes that women should not wait for men to empower them financially.
“I don’t feel comfortable seeing some women sitting at home, waiting for a man to open a shop for them or to provide for their basic needs. I would therefore, advise and encourage women to go into painting because what a man can do as long as he can do it with his hands, we women too are capable; it only takes hard work and determination,” she said.
She has big dreams that in the next 5 years, she would have made greater strides in the painting profession, big projects to work on as a major contractor. By so doing, she hopes to realize enough money to take a break to further her education.
When Anih isn’t painting, she loves to write in her spare time, and is currently working on her first novel.
Photo Credit: Vanguard