Female instructor is on the road to teach

2015-10-29 06:00
IN THE POLES: Busisiwe Shongwe from Lower Crossroads is one of only two female driving instructors in the townships and loving it.  PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

IN THE POLES: Busisiwe Shongwe from Lower Crossroads is one of only two female driving instructors in the townships and loving it. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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There is a dearth of women driving instructors in the industry, but for one lass from New Crossroads, the terrain is there for the takers, disrespectful fellow road-users notwithstanding.

Even as many attempts at fulfilling her dream of becoming a traffic officer have failed, she has remained resolute in her determination to become one.

Busisiwe Shongwe has enlisted the help of her lover to teach others the intricacies of driving a vehicle on the road.

Having taken the proverbial bull by the horn, and dared into a male dominated industry- as she believs that she is only one of two women who have had the pluck to do so- she holds that the sky is the limit for her.

She completed her code 8 drivers license when she was just 18 years old but kept failing the tests to become a traffic official.

“Three years ago I passed the code 10 drivers license, and it was around that same time that my boyfriend, Collen Khumalo,27, bought a truck and started his driving school. We then decided that I should get the driving instructors certificate, which I obtained from the Bellville Traffic Department.

Since then, she has been working for Colly’s Driving School, teaching learners six days a week.

She said that of the many challenges she faces, none came from her counterparts in the industry. “Yes, it was strange at first but I never received any animosity or funny comments from other instructors.

They go on about their business and so do I, but when needs be they can be very helpful,” she said.

She revealed that it’s usually the learners who get to be problematic and she suspects that it is because that she is a female.

“Sometimes you find that they don’t take you seriously or they don’t believe that you know what you are talking about. It’s not just the men, you also find it with the other women as well,” she said.

She adds: “Time management is also a very big issue as classes are set on an hourly basis and you find that they don’t take that seriously enough.

However, the majority of the learners are very nice,” Other motorists can also be problematic, as they are not very patient with learners and often react with disrespect once they discover that both the learner and instructor are females.

Despite this, she says that she thoroughly enjoys her job despite the long hours and demanding conditions.

“I really feel great when my learners pass their tests and obtain their licenses. When they fail I feel like I have also failed them,” she said. “I have a passion for cars and driving that makes a very rewarding job. Im still going to try to become a traffic officer but I’m still enjoying this job,” said Shongwe. Shongwe said there is still room for other female role-players in the industry.

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