A female driving instructor and owner of Hilaria Driving School, Hilaria Erastus (38) has said fellow women should not be scared of joining the industry and encouraged those who want to venture in such industries to do so by all means.
“If you want to go into transportation or instructing people how to drive, don’t limit yourself, if you have the skills and feel proud, go out and make use of those skills, you can also partner up with other instructors if need be. Don’t be scared to join the industry,” she told Youth Corner.
Erastus was shedding light on how it is as a female driving instructor in a male-dominated industry from the small town of Okahandja. Born in Lüderitz and based in Okahandja, she said financial difficulties led her to take up the task of being a driving instructor after quitting her full-time job as a payroll administrator.
Erastus said: “I did my research and came to realise that many people, especially women, struggle with getting a license and decided to challenge myself and started learning how to teach people how to drive since I had my car.”
To date and having been in the industry for one year and six months, she has taught more than 200 drivers with 64 obtaining their driver’s licenses. “Within one year, I am happy that 244 license seekers have gone through me with some who have gotten their licenses and others are still attempting to get, it’s a learning curve but I am loving it,” said the proud Erastus.
With the industry mostly dominated by men, Erastus always gets that look from customers, which shows they don’t expect their instructor to be a woman.
“When the bookings are done, potential drivers come to where I will be doing the instructing, their faces change the moment they see me and that’s when I realise that there is a little bit of hesitation for them to be taught by me but they eventually do give in and give the go-ahead. At the end of the day, they confess that they have underestimated my abilities but have learnt a lot of things,” said Erastus.
The proud moments in her profession are when people qualify for their driver’s licenses, and when the people go beyond borders and get to use their Namibians licenses. Erastus said as much as the majority of her customers are men, they have on numerous occasions encouraged her to motivate other women to take up the profession.
“I came to realise that women are the best drivers and there are few instructors because this is a male-dominated industry. I love the fact that some men come to me because they prefer to be taught by a woman and they have told me to inform other women to do the same since some of them own driving schools,” she mentioned.