In Malaysia, a tough 51-year-old single mother is breaking local conventions by earning her living driving a 10-wheel truck trailer.
A former factory worker, Rokiah Salim decided to change careers after enduring constant pressure from a demanding employer for 18 years, Malaysian Digest reports.
Her new gig demands she make at least 150 trips a month to the Penang Port to pick up containers before delivering them to the depot for repairs. And while Rokiah does not receive a standard basic pay due to the nature of her job, she is thankful that it has allowed her to be her own boss.
Affectionately known as “Kak Lori” by her peers, the driving granny revealed that having flexible hours meant she could earn more just by doing more trips. She currently earns up to MYR 7,000 ($1,580) per month plus additional food allowance, commissions, and bonuses.
The middle-aged but still youthful mother of two shows some of her bubbly personality via videos uploaded on her Facebook page.
She said she hopes to get the younger generation to take on odd jobs instead of depending solely on their parents.
“Many graduates choose to remain unemployed, while there are many vacant positions, including as lorry drivers. Give it a try, and do not keep relying on your parents’ money,” she advised.
However, she also noted that being a female in such an industry highly dominated by men involves the hassle of being bothered from time to time.
In one instance, she shared that her truck was stopped by a group of drunkards in the middle of the road and started to spew verbal assault assaults toward her. She said she was fortunate a stranger saved her by driving the intoxicated men away.
Despite the risks, she loves her job and praises her employer as “the best in the world”.
Rokiah recently mentioned on Facebook that her boss now only wants to hire women drivers.
“Boss dah ramai pekerja lelaki. Dia cuma mau pekerja perempuan. Rajin kerja. Kata boss (Boss has many male workers. He only wants women drivers now. He says they are hardworking).”