A few weeks back, I got the mighty privilege to interview a woman in tech, Adejumoke Famade. I came across her online and was intrigued by the fact that she repairs laptops and computers for a living. I wanted to find out certain things; One was how she felt doing the job. Second was how people viewed her and third was why she opted for it. Because I don’t want this text-interview to be too long, I regrettably have reduced the content largely. Nevertheless, you will absolutely enjoy it. Cheers!
Please tell me about your educational background?
I went to St. Bernard’s Nursery and Primary School, Akoka. My secondary school was The African Church Model College, Ifako-Ijaiye then I went to Covenant University, studied Computer Science and graduated with a second class upper.
Oh, so did that lead to your love for computers?
It started during my IT. I went there as a computer software student but my supervisors there were mostly for infrastructure so they influenced me to do infrastructure. The plan was to learn infrastructure for three months and programming for three months. I started with infrastructure and before I knew it, I was going four months into it. From the first month in infrastructure, I was already dismantling and assembling systems in less than thirty minutes. I also started fixing systems for even the Human Resource Director (HRD). When I was leaving, they bought me my own tools because they knew that that was what I loved.
So tell me about your family background.
I’m from Ogun state; Ijebu-Ishara while my mom is from Bayelsa. My mom has two children (my elder brother and I) while my dad has four other children. My father and mother are no longer together.
Was Computer Science a course you just picked for study or was it as a result of your love for computers?
I initially wanted to go for medicine but thank God I failed JAMB! I had 171 and had to stay at home. Although Babcock picked me for Social Works, my mom disapproved of it. Then she later enrolled me at a computer school (NIIT). It was there I found out that computer science was actually a cool course and when I wrote JAMB again, I picked Computer Science and I passed the cut-off.
When you tell people you repair computers, what do they say?
Well, they usually want to test to find out if a female can truly repair computers. Even at work, most systems are always on me because people want to see what I can do. However, some women look down on me. Sometimes women don’t like when women progress. There was a time a woman called me incompetent because I was female.
What other challenges do you face?
The other challenge I face is when a client wants to fix a system and I am at work (this is not the only work I do). Then there are people who message you at odd hours to make enquiries. Another challenge is that many of my clients are also from South Africa and other states in the country. And then there are also people who want you to repair their laptops at a ridiculously low price.
What can you say with regard to women and tech?
What I can say is a woman can do what a man can do better. This is not me being feminist. If men are in tech, why can’t women be in tech? Women use technology so why can’t we know what makes things happen? I am pretty curious about how technology works and always want to know what’s behind the scenes.
How do you deal with comments that are degrading?
I just scroll. I don’t even have time. I know my Bible and if I want to make it, I must have enemies. The hateful comments make me want to keep doing what I do. It’s a normal thing to be talked about. You must be able to manage your emotions so that nobody brings you down. There are people who find it harder to commend you than to criticize you.
What’s the big picture?
If I tell you my picture, you will shake (laughs). I see myself as one of the richest women in Africa in tech in the future.
Any final words?
Just do it. Whether it works out or not.
Thank you for reading. Trust you enjoyed it. Please drop your comments and don’t forget to share.
You can connect with Miss Famade on twitter: @famshizzle