The adverse socio-economic situation in the country has driven 53-year-old Alice Madumere Chikezie, a mass communication graduate from Lagos State University,LASU, into welding. Alice, who hails from Abia State,explained that she had refused to go into crime as a result of the economic recession rocking the country which has made life less meaningful. Leaving Lagos State out of frustration for Enugu, an optimistic Alice revealed that things took a nosedive since the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration last year. Alice Madumere Chikezie Alice Madumere Chikezie Determined to survive,she quickly enrolled to learn welding. She said that life stood on its head for her, early last year when she could not pay for her accommodation and was practically borrowing to eat one meal a day. After acquiring requisite knowledge in welding, she relocated from Lagos to Enugu where she believed she will not suffer ‘familiarity complex’ from family members and friends arising from her entry into the male dominated trade. At Ibagwa-Nike Primary School where Alice operates a workshop, she told Sunday Vanguard: “I had worked as a sales girl in many companies in Lagos. At a point, early last year, the centre could no longer hold and i had to learn welding and metal works. When I started, I could not different between 12mm and 16mm iron. But with time, i started learning. I was learning the trade and schooling in LASU. “I went to school in order to have a sound footing in life. I have B.Sc. in mass communication, print option from LASU. But seeing the turn of events in the country, i quickly learnt welding. I had looked for job without success because age factor also became a barrier to me. Most employers want to employ younger people but I am above fifty. That is how it dawned on me that I could get a job anywhere. My age was partly responsible for my decision to go into welding. I did not have any choice. A woman in male dominated job “This job is male dominated, so the challenges inherent are enormous. Most times,when i go to canvass for jobs, clients look down on me and turn me down because it is a male dominated job. But i have remained resolute and some of the people i have done jobs for recommend me and bring more customers to me. It has been very challenging. Most areas, as you can see in the course of this job, require physical strength. That is partly where i find it challenging too. But i must always find a way around it. “I would love to expand the business and train more female welders to enable them become self-reliant, rather than go into crime that will always be detrimental. If government can provide soft loans,grants that will enable me expand my business, I would be grateful”.