A few days ago, a 59-year-old Nigerian mum named Mrs Onokpite Agbaduta Beauty went massively viral after it was revealed that she is a bus driver.
In other to get a comprehensive view of Mrs Onokpite's inspirational life, Legit.ng reached out to her and her children and they obliged to an interview. She revealed during the interview that her late husband met her in a dream and encouraged her to brace up and take care of their kids.
Finally, she has been recognised by the Alice Ajisafe foundation after her story went viral last week.
The inspiring story of Mrs Onokpite Agbaduta Beauty
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After the passage of her husband in 1991, Mrs Onokpite Agbaduta Beauty an indigen of Ethiope East local government area of Delta state was left with the grim reality of taking care of her three kids all alone.
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Before the death of her husband, Mrs Onokpite told Legit.ng that she was running a cosmetic shop. A qualified teacher who graduated from Agbor Teachers College (known today as Delta State College of Education, Agbor) in 1986, she was thrown off balance by the passage of her husband who worked with Delta Glass Company.
Not long after, it was as if she had to start life afresh as she said she was dispossessed of her husband's property.
Said Mrs Onokpite:
"When I lost my husband, you know the tradition. When he died and I was left alone with only my friends and family. For a period of one year, I stayed at home. Then the family came and took the whole house, carried all the property."
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How I was inspired to rise up for my kids
After she was stripped of inheritance by her husband's family, she said she became inspired to fight for herself and her children.
This was coupled with the fact that she always heard her late husband saying his children will attend quality schools. She had to pick up the gauntlet.
She said of the moment she was dispossessed:
"That really inspired me. The truth is when my husband was alive, we really liked quality education. I lways heard him say his children will attend Igbenedion school at that time. When he died, my son was suprposed to enter secondary school because he was in primary 5. So they said I should put him in public school. I said no way my children will not attend public school."
After refusing to enroll her children in Nigeria's often dilapidated public schools, Mrs Onokpite said her husband's family may have felt she had money somewhere. But there was none since she was dispossessed of her husband's property.
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But there was another thing that gave her the courage to stand up for herself and her kids. She told Legit.ng that she saw her late husband in a dream. She said she narrated her ordeal to him and he asked:
"So if I'm not around, can't you take care of the children?"
This was the turning point for her journey to becoming a driver.
She buys her first commercial car
But how did a widow who was dispossessed of her husband's property make enough money to buy her first car for the transportation business? Social media users who have seen her story are asking this same question.
Mrs Onokpite has a ready answer:
"I was into cosmetics and I had a shop before he died. The shop cannot take care of the responsibities ahead of me, so I sold everything in the shop. So I met with one of my husband's friends, one Chief Lucky Esegie, the owner of a supermarket in Warri, a very popular man then. He gave me N40,000 then which I added to what I had. I bought a Panel Van. There was one car called Panel Van at that time."
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Her journey into the transportation business thus began with the purchase of the Panel Van. She said she gave the vehicle to a driver who would be giving her returns while she concentrated on trying her hands in contract and supply business. She however quit the supply business since she realised that many men were making undue advances on her.
Taking the bull by the horn
Mrs Onokpite told Legit.ng that she took over the driving and management of her van. One day, she woke up and drove it to Warri Roundabout where she started loading and conveying passengers from Warri to Benin.
She continued her interesting tale:
"So that was how I started before I relocated to Lagos. When I relocated to Lagos, I didn't start the transport business, I opened a hotel that I was running, and I was doing well with it until the Fashola government took over the premises. That was how everything crubled again and I had no option than to go back to the transport business."
Mrs Onokpite has since raised her three kids successfully, giving them the education she and her husband dreamt of before he sadly passed on.
Her children speak
Legit.ng interacted with two of her kids. Her son, Lucky Onoriode who is a graduate of Fine and Applied Arts from the Delta State University, Abraka described his mother in glowing terms.
Lucky who also has a master's degree from the same university said of his mum:
"She always ensured we had the best education and attain the highest level of education. She is a peace loving person who puts others always before herself.
"A woman with a never give up attitude always pushing to give her family a better life possible and every one around her.
"In everywhere we have lived, there is always something interesting and beautiful to say about her. She is very accommodative to all that comes around her with a beautiful spirit and sacrificing."
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On her part, her last daughter named Oghenekome said it was on challenging for her after realising her mother is a commercial driver. She said a mate once used it against her and to mock her while she was in secondary school.
The graduate of Guidance and Counselling from Delta State University told Legit.ng:
"Having a mother who is a professional driver was once challenging, but I got used to it because it was what she wanted and despite the situations, we always support her and I feel everyone can go into that profession but the world we live in tends to be discriminative in that area in which they believe its a man's job.
"While in secondary school, one of my schoolmates used it to mock me."
She also described her mother in glowing terms:
"My mother is the best gift a child could ever ask for. She is educative, accommodative, principled but also a disciplinarian. She is also a father, very hardworking and beautiful."
When Mrs Onokpite's hard work was recognised through an award by the Alice Ajisafe Foundation, children were there to celebrate with her. She said in a speech that she won't be where she is without their support.
Nigerian lady becomes a tanker driver
In a related story, Legit.ng reported that a Nigerian lady became a tanker driver at the age of 22.
The courageous young lady named Iyeyemi Adeniran said driving is what she loves doing.
She said she is never scared while driving since she has learned to be courageous.