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Regional News of Sunday, 29 August 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

‘Away bus’: Father hires 21-year-old daughter as trotro mate

Freda Tetteh has been doing this job for 2 years play videoFreda Tetteh has been doing this job for 2 years

Correspondence from Eastern Region:

It was quite rare in the distant past to find females playing the role of drivers’ mates but the situation appears to be changing within the last couple of years.

Women are now more confident than before to venture into male-driven occupations to earn a living.

GhanaWeb has observed that the situation in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality in the Eastern Region appears to be no exception as the number of female drivers’ mates keeps increasing.

Couples working together as driver and mate are also not rare as this correspondent has observed.

GhanaWeb's Eastern Regional Correspondent, Michael Oberteye, on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, was greeted with yet another spectacle of a female driver’s mate taking charge of affairs.

It was a father and daughter affair as the 21-year-old Freda Tetteh turned out to be the mate for her 52-year-old father, Emmanuel Tetteh.

It later emerged that the young lady, a baker turned trotro mate, agreed to help her dad on the road to put together some money to support the establishment of her baking business.

The two have been working together for the past two years and this, according to Mr. Tetteh has been more beneficial than working with males.

He disclosed to GhanaWeb that the scarcity of male trotro mates to work with and their dishonesty coupled with the inability of his daughter to start her business forced him to employ her for the position.

“I do work with female mates but not often because the work isn’t easy now. The male mates are not easy to find now and even if you do, they steal from you.

“This young girl you see me working with is my daughter so just as I would employ others, I employed her same way and she works as expected of her,” he told GhanaWeb.

To him, the females are honest to the drivers unlike the males and they render account for all sales made during the day.

He said, “What I’ve observed between the male mates and the females is that the females are honest. Whatever you earn at the end of the day, they give all to you but the males steal from you and at the end of the day, accounting for the sales becomes difficult and due to this, we prefer the females.”

He explained that though his daughter initially felt uncomfortable with his suggestion to employ her as a mate on his vehicle, she nevertheless finally agreed which has been the beginning of their two-year journey.

He disclosed: “It was difficult for her in the beginning because she felt this job isn’t for females but I convinced her to understand that finding work is difficult now and what a man can do, the female can do the same. Because females are even capable of becoming presidents and MPs and drivers. So both males and females are doing the same jobs. She finally accepted it. It was difficult for her in the beginning but she soon got used to it and we’re working.”



The driver who said there was nothing embarrassing in being a mate, advised young females to venture into the activity as drivers now preferred females due to their “honesty.”

“The drivers have realized that the males steal from the sales so if the females also commit themselves to the job, they will employ them…there are no jobs and there is nothing embarrassing about this,” said the 52-year-old.

He said he may eventually train her to take charge of the steering wheel if he is incapable of doing so on any day.





GhanaWeb observed the energy and willingness with which the young woman carried out her duty: opening doors for passengers, carrying their goods into the boot of the vehicle, taking her fares, etc.

Edging closer to her in the midst of her work, the confident Freda Tetteh said though she’s completed her apprenticeship as a baker, financial constraints have forced her to take up this job to enable her open her own business.

She disclosed that though it was difficult taking up the task in the beginning, her quest to raise some money was the overriding factor.

“It was so difficult for me becoming a mate because as I’m sitting here I am a madam but due to the economic hardship, I must do this so that I can continue my work because, through this, I can get some small money so that I can gather it to further my own,” said the 21-year-old.

Though she found it tough in the beginning, she soon realized that “what man can do, woman can also do.”

Asked if she was content with the money she was making from her job, she said, “I’m okay with that because these days the work is so difficult so I’m okay with that.”




Freda however has a problem with difficult passengers. According to her, “some of the passengers are so troublesome but there is nothing you can do about it. Just calm down, you talk to them…some people like talking about the fares, even if you collect the correct fare from them, they’ll complain about it.”

A passenger on the vehicle who gave her name as Daavi who also spoke with GhanaWeb professed her preference for female mates.

She said, “The female mates have patience for us. There is no problem with what this lady is doing, I like what she does,” said Daavi, adding that it takes a girl who is courageous to venture into this kind of job.

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