Written by Cobby Sackitey
A Ghanaian woman who has been living in the UK for some years now has shared her experience living abroad.
Patricia Poku Amankwah affectionately called ‘Abrokyire Hemaa’ is a Ghanaian female taxi driver who finds her spot in a male-dominated industry.
In an interview with DJ Nyaami on SVTV Africa, Patricia, 53, born and bred in London-UK was a hairstylist but later decided it was about time a female took the wheel.
Patricia has been driving all over London and Amsterdam to Germany for over a decade now. According to her, even though she got her driving license in 1987 she didn’t start the taxi job until early 2000.
She said, her passion for driving is what motivated her to drive taxi. Patricia pointed out that, she wanted to be a black cap driver after hairdressing and also be a self-employed woman.
Over the years she has been driving, Patricia says she attracts a lot of stares.
“I sort of understand, I am a woman in a very male dominated profession and probably they see it as a no go zone area. I know it’s not common. Sometimes I get people who look at my dressing and ask, are you sure you are the taxi driver and I say, yes I am. Anyways we got drivers with different level.” She said smiling.
But, stares and nay sayers didn’t hold her back, and now she has many clients, including celebrity and prominent people in society.
Speaking on requirements to be a taxi driver in London, Patricia said, one has to be fluent in English and be able to communicate well with people.
“To be a taxi driver in London, you have to be educated, you have to be fluent in English, if you can’t communicate with people, then you cannot be a taxi driver.” She said.
Patricia added that, she is very proud of her job and will never feel shy in doing it.
“Every work is work, as long as you’re making money out of it then its work.
Driving is my passion; I pick people all over at the airport including my friends, so there is nothing embarrassing in being a taxi driver and am even proud of it and I’m really enjoying it. So I am not shy of doing it. I’m proud of it and I still do it up till date.” Abrokyire Hemaa added.
Speaking about how it is to run both the taxi business and settle family,
the mother of three said, all her children are in the UK. She indicated that she had to travel back and forth every time.