“I AM PAID TO DO WHAT I LOVE….PAMELA AKPEKI
PA Driving has always been my passion so Uber is giving me the opportunity to get paid doing what I love and not many people can boast of that. I always thought highly of whatever has to do with the medical field while growing up. I guess I was fascinated with the Lab coat and other medical equipment but I lost interest after school.
KB It takes Patience and perseverance to drive in a place like Lagos because of traffic gridlock, what keeps you going? How do you cope with the crazy traffic snarl-ups in Lagos?
PA My passion for driving is unexplainable, I guess it is what keeps me going. I have lived all my life in Lagos so I am used to it; I know several alternate routes to beat the traffic.
KB You must have thought of a profession while in school before veering into your present job what was it?
PA I wanted to be a microbiologist. I nursed the idea of opening a research Centre.
KB Who is Pamela akpeki?
PA Pamela Akpeki is a goal getter, a team player and she is always ready to go the extra mile for anyone or anything she believes in.
KB What schools did you attend? Where did you grow up?
PA I grew up in Lagos. I attended Molly international Nursery and primary school AJao estate, Apata Memorial High school Isolo. A-Z Secondary School Ajao Estate and university of Lagos, Akoka Lagos. I guess I am a true definition of a Lagosian.
KB Your job is an unusual job for a lady, how did your family react to your taking this as a profession?
PA They were not surprised, anyone who knows me know I love to be behind the wheels.
KB What about your clients? How do they react when they discover your gender?
PA Some are surprised; some get excited some even cancel thinking it must be a mistake. When they requested and get me again, they relax and look forward to the ride.
KB For every profession, there are hazards, how do you handle this? What measures have you put in place for your personal safety?
PA As a Christian have complete trust faith in God and trust that the Lord has got me covered, however as a realist, I acknowledge the risks of the being on the road daily. I avoid working at night; I took some lessons on self-defense, which I am very grounded. I try to avoid rough areas. I update myself with the laws of the road, I have myself, and vehicle insured.
KB Recently, there has been fears and concerns about Uber drivers and kidnapping or theft, what is your view about that? How can Uber build confidence in the public?
PA I cannot speak for all drivers but personally I believe with Uber the risks are low compared to random taxis on the roads because drivers are registered and the information shows on the app which gives the rider a bit information about the driver . This makes it easy to locate the driver in case of a mishap. In addition, they provides riders with the means to share their location with family to enable third party to monitor the ride. Uber as a company has done its due diligence in creating awareness and building a trust based relationship between the rider and drivers.
KB For me I would choose a female driver over a male, how do you make your clients have implicit trust in you and your capacity?
PA For me that comes easy because I am meticulous when it comes to driving, from the moment my rider steps into the car I welcome them with a smile and ask them to make a choice of route they prefer and I drive at reasonable speed obeying all traffic laws.
KB How long have you been driving?
PA I have been driving for 15 years now. I have been with Uber for 6 months.
KB How profitable is this business?
PA It pays my bills (smiles)
KB How do you become an Uber driver?
PA Simply visit any of the Uber green light hub with your valid vehicle documents; there are competent hands that would put you through.
KB You know you are an inspiration to others. What would you say to those who look up to you?
PA I would say it took hard work to get to where I am now now. I am not where I want to be so I am working extra hard to get there. Never you look down on any job, do not think you are too educated to learn a trade, do something with your hands. Failure is not an option, that you don’t get it at first does not mean you should stop trying, never give up and believe In yourself.
KB I see you are widely travelled, is that how you unwind? On the other hand, you have another job or business you do outside this?
PA frankly speaking, I am jack of all trade, besides driving with Uber, I am a business, I sell imported herbal soaps, I travel to unwind and to shop for for female clothes to sell, I am into buying and selling of tokunbo cars, in other words, I am an agent for basically everything legal. Just tell me what you need and I will get it for you for a reasonable price.
KB How do you relax after a hard day’s job? What are your hobbies?
PA I take a long shower, get a light meal, stretch out my legs and nurse a glass of wine while watching telemundo. Driving is my hobby and I love traveling.
KB Some customers can be very rude and difficult, how do you handle them? Have you ever had a nasty experience?
PA No not really, because no matter how difficult a rider gets, I keep my cool and remain calm, remember the customer is always right.
KB What about Law enforcement agents like Police LASTMA, FRSC, and VIO?
PA One can only have problems with law enforcement agencies when you break the laws. Therefore, I try not to break laws.
KB Say something to young ladies out there who would rather be slay queens than be engaged in profitable venture?
PA The world is moving fast and entrepreneurship is taking over, beauty is not enough but beauty and brains is the key. Everyone has a talent, I would advise every young lady out here to search within and find out what they are passionate about and make it profitable, no more waiting for a man to foot the bills. You can be an accomplished entrepreneur and a slay queen; no one says you have to give up one for the other.