Female brick layer defies the odds to become one of the most sought after !!

Female brick layer defies the odds to become one of the most sought after in Murambinda

Female brick layer defies the odds to become one of the most sought after in Murambinda

Indeed apples do not fall far from the tree, this is the story of a young lady who defied the odds and followed the steps of her father to become one of the most sought after bricklayer in Murambinda growth point.

FROM playing with dolls as a child and crying for her father’s building tools to becoming a skilled worker class 1 building and bricklaying, all of this brew shocker to the community as it was a new phenomenon.

 Shallon Maunganidze has followed her father’s steps and defied the societal expectations to pursue her cognizant child dream.

Whilst growing up, she always had a knack for building as she constantly nagged and cried for her father’s trowel and spirit level.

Her journey of following her father’s steps was not easy one, as she had to overcome societal expectations and gender stereotypes which is very common in the satellite areas.

Shallon, from Viriri village, is a 31-year-old class 1 skilled worked who is the most sought after builder in the Manicaland province for the past 6/7 years, taking over the male dominated field with a storm.

Recounting her journey she vividly remembers how it was hard to convince her father who was in the same trade to take her as an assistance during the school holidays and that how her passion grows for the trade.

My fathers used to take only my brothers as assistance during the holidays , where they would go  and work for their pockets money although none of them seemed to interested in  building , it was this neglect which forced me to burn with passion and I took the challenge .

As she grew older, she grew out of the dolls and took an interest in what was once a male dominated career of building and bricklaying , reading around the area and researching thoroughly was become her ideal life.

She however soon realized that there were few opportunities for women in the building industries due to stereotypes with her adamant courage she ought to break the barriers and misconception on gender roles and stereotypes.

All this did not deterred her from realizing her dream as she continue to pursue and nag her parents about it , till they give in and let her be.

It was during the university gap year when her father asked for her assistance as a technical hand and he was convinced that the apple does not fall from the tree and he count see the passion in her eyes from a distance.

From there onwards she becomes the fathers favorite assistance and would go for different jobs were she gained experience at the tender age of 18, this forced her enroll with Magamba technical college in the year 2008 for her certification.

The news was met with disgruntlement and mixed feelings from many family members but it did not deter her from achieving her dream which she is currently living.

She managed to break the stereotypical ceiling of traditional women and the gender roles by furthering her studies and acquiring the skilled worked class 1 a decade ago in a male dominated industry.

Women, in particular, are taking Centre stage in an area once dominated by men, as up to date she is one of the most sought after bricklayer and builder in the small town having many projects in her name from school tenders to private homes.

 “Being a female bricklayer is not easy, most people really do not trust my capabilities as they look for muscles and stamina rather than the skill and knowledge , even with my level of expertise , they still just doubt” , she said.

She went on to say in her early stages it was  not easy to secure a contract as people used to look down on her based on her gender , overlooking the fact she is more qualified than most man in the area.

“when I finished my class one trade tests , I got home with high expectations of securing high end contracts since I was now one of the handful skilled workers in the area but to my surprise people only come for a quote then they disappear and hire man with lower qualifications for the job”  , she said.

This forced her to join hands with his father and started their construction company with a male face so as to navigate the gender stereotyping and gender roles, and gradually people started to get convinced that she was made for the job.

 Shallon had partnered with her father until he passed on in 2016 then she took over the  construction company which has become the most sought after due to their proven records of service delivery with due diligence which she gladly say was one of her advantages of being a female.

She said, “Women are caring in nature and we pay attention to details, so as in my work I also pay attention to details which gives me a slight advantage over my male counterparts”.

She is an expert in bricklaying, modern housing designs, refurbishments and architectural designs, with a reputable name attached to her brand and she is also nurturing other female bricklayers.

She is a living statement that you can be whoever you want in life and an inspirational to many young girls who have seen the light and take courage of following their dreams

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