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General News of Friday, 7 September 2018

Source: Bismark Amoako

Ghana loses certified female plumber

Plumbing used to be a male-dominated profession in the country until three decades ago, when Dorothy Naana Kissiedu nee Dorothy Aikins, changed the narrative and blazed a trail as perhaps, Ghana's first certified female plumber.

Unfortunately, the pacesetter who emerged as a role model passed on last June 29 at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital in Accra after a short illness. Naana 58, would be buried coming Saturday, September 8 in Takoradi.

These days, if you request plumbing services, chances are that a female, would come knocking on your door or ring the bell thanks to Naana.

Until her death, she was an Assistant Director of Education and also an Assistant Chief Examiner at the Technical Examination Unit, Ghana Education Service and was the first female head of the Plumbing department at Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI).

Naana did not reach the level she attained on a silver platter but through perseverance, she overcame several challenges as the only female rubbing shoulders with male plumbers.

It would be recalled that in 1986 The Mirror featured her in a front-page story headlined: Distinction Plumber Without A Job.

The story drew attention to her inability to get employed due to her gender status even though she had. passed with distinction and emerged top of her plumbing class at the Accra Technical Training Center in 1982. After graduation, she remained. unemployed for over two years because companies were sceptical of her capabilities and were often told: " you are a woman" and sidelined. The position was given to the male colleagues she had outperformed as a distinction plumber.

A victim of gender discrimination

Naana did not give up but pursued further studies at various institutions, at home and abroad to hone her skills.

She undertook advanced plumbing courses at the then Takoradi Polytechnic (1984), attended the University of Education, Winneba ( 2002 -2003) for a Certificate in Education and later in 2009 obtained the Bachelor of Education VOC/TECH from same college She also pursued a two year advanced plumbing and gas course in Germany.

After a stint at construction firm A Lang in 1986 following the publication she transitioned to the educational sector in 1988 and was employed as a tutor at the Accra Technical Training Center and moved to TTI in1999 where she rose to become the first female head in 2003.

Naana who hailed from Cape Coast left behind a husband Kwabena Atta Kissiedu a Takoradi based Chartered Accountant and two children Kwesi Kissiedu an oil and gas engineer with Halliburton Company Limited and Dorothy Aku Kissiedu a Graphic Designer.

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