Susan Rooi operates the big pipe-bending machine at Bilfinger Power Africa in Pretoria. She would like to give her children a good start in life.
What did you enjoy most as a child?
Having a mother. This is not always the case in Africa where many mothers die young and many children grow up as orphans.
What was the best year of your life?
2007. That’s when I got married.
What are you afraid of?
I’m not afraid of anything. But I worry about children who don’t want to go to school. They have no future.
What’s your favorite pastime?
Being together with my children and reading books with them. That is a start to their education. And it’s a very enjoyable experience for me.
What are you thankful for?
Being a mother.
Do you ever get homesick?
Yes, it always hits me on Wednesdays. Then I haven’t seen my children for three days and I miss them terribly. That’s why I usually drive home after work and then drive back to Pretoria early Thursday morning. It’s a three-hour trip each way.
Do you have a favorite memory?
I remember very well how my boss made me a supervisor three years ago. He came and shook my hand. I was the first woman to become a supervisor.
Your greatest achievement?
That I managed to get the job on the bending machine.
What do you like most about your work?
I like the power of my machine. And the concentration that I need to operate it. What trait do you find admirable in a man? When he respects his wife and supports her in the things she does.
What trait do you find admirable in a woman?
When she works hard and has confidence in herself.
Who in the world would you most like to meet?
I would like to meet God one day. There are a lot of young women who don’t have work and who are dependent on their husbands. I would thank God for the life I can lead.
If you were to give your child one piece of advice, what would it be?
Education is the key to success. Take advantage of your opportunities.
Is there something that you still want to achieve in your life?
I would like to be a trainer. Then I would train a lot of women so that they could recognize for themselves everything they are capable of.
It’s never too late.
Some 70,000 people work for Bilfinger. Each of them has their own story to tell.
Interview: Eva Wolfangel, Photo: Frank Schultze
Bilfinger Magazine 1/2014