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Long distance haulage truck driving is undoubtedly one of the world’s most unforgiving jobs. Drivers have to contend not only with the fatigue which comes with long distance travel, but also with treacherous roads, especially in parts of Africa with poor transport infrastructure. Add to that, there is the risk of being hijacked.
Despite these harsh realities, 32 year-old Rutendo Barna, a Zimbabwean woman has not been discouraged from following her dreams.
Barna is just one of a few female truck drivers who dared to dream and followed the dream. She got her truck driver’s licence at the age of 23 and started driving trucks across the country’s borders at age 25, Voice of America Zimbabwe reported.
The journey has been far from smooth. Barna says she has faced and endured stigmatising attitudes, being mistaken as a truck driver’s wife. However, “once [people] found out that I am actually a driver you see them start changing. They end up respecting you as a woman. It’s been a really great feeling.”
Since 2009, Barna who is also an aspiring commercial pilot has been using the money she earns from trucking to enrol for flight lessons at the Guthrie Aviation School. However, she’s yet to acquire her commercial pilot certificate due to financial constraints.
Despite the challenges, Barna says her dream is to continue inspiring young women. “I am sending a good impression that in a male-dominated world, people see flying and truck driving a male-dominated industry. I would like to believe that girls are changing the mind-set and believe that females can do whatever they put their mind to” she told Voice of America Zimbabwe.Source: voa