It has been this way for 20 years. A wall nobody questions or bothers to recognise. Engineering is for men.
It is an accepted fact that ladies can run the newsrooms all they could. But at the Engineering department, balls and brawns run the wires and wi-fi.
The 20-man staff there know this. You have to be physically, emotionally and mentally strong to work here, the Head of Department, Samuel Boateng had always thought.
Until Insight Agbetsiafa walked in.
For the engineering department, 20-year old Insight was their white shirt.
Since June 15, 2015, Sule has learnt to buy breakfast for her. And ‘Captain’, a naturally bullish man with the flesh of a mosquito, became a bodyguard – sort of a personal bouncer.
People learnt to start a sentence with ‘please’ not ‘charlie’.
And it is not because Insight is an imposing model or that she possesses a jaw-dropping personality that makes men sell houses for a woman’s heart. No.
It was simply that the department had been so starved of any lingering feminine presence that the 20-year old was just fresh air – and a record too.
Tiny-looking, very shy and probably born courteous, Insight is a second-year student at Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC) in Accra.
She is studying Telecoms Engineering there. You don’t have to worry about this course if maths is a myth for you. For Insight, maths makes her eyes bright. And it runs through the family, she told Myjoyonline.com. Her elder sister is a Computer Engineer at Vodafone Ghana and her dad is a Chartered Accountant.
Head of Joy FM’s Engineering department Samuel Boateng found it difficult not to praise her. “She’s driven”, “she has a heart to learn” and when we start teaching her a problem we end up leaving her to finish it all by herself, Boateng observed.
Insight noted that the likes of Philip Allotey, Sammy ‘Gorzor’ and Samuel Boateng cut an intimidating figure at first encounters. But they are very nice people, she found out to her relief. “They took very good care of me and they taught me a lot,” she assessed.
She received hands-on training on repairing phone chargers, building an extension board, recording and saving studio events, connecting IP addresses. “We got her to repair a laptop” and “solder cables”, Samuel Boateng beamed at his contribution.
Insight called herself a risk-taker who just walked into Multimedia with a letter and a request to work here. No connections, no network as many young people believe is a requirement in a less meritocratic Ghana.
She is now walking out with a pretty reliable basis to conclude she may have secured a job two years before she graduates in 2018.
For Samuel Boateng, his great ‘regret’ is that as Insight departs, the department will return to a pre-Insight Agbetsiafa era.