Eugene Muvandimwe is a mechanic at Prime Auto Garage, in Kigali City. He works at the garage five days a week.
As a child his dream job was to become a mechanic. When he completed his A-Llevel education, he immediately joined Auto Muhima to learn his way around a car.
He was born in 1985, at Gisozi, to Kaloli Twagiraumwami and Rose Mukarugondo. Muvandimwe is the second child among two siblings.
“Auto Muhima is one of the best places in Rwanda where one can gain skills on how to repair and operate on any kind of vehicle. It was not financial constraints that made me join the technical school but my love to become a mechanic,” Muvandimwe said.
He said that loving what you do is what matters the most. “The first priority towards perfecting your job is to love it. Some people think repairing cars is a dirty job. I don’t think so because I have done this for the last eight years and it has paid off.”
He says youth should consider joining Technical Schools if they want to gain skills; joining garages and copying what the mechanics do is not credible.
“In every profession, basics are required if you are to excel and documents such as certificates are important,” he explained.
His day starts as early as 6:00 a.m, and gets an hour and half for lunch. Even though he is a full-time mechanic, he doesn’t hesitate to work extra time for extra pay.
“I’m paid Rwf95, 000 per month with some allowances. However on weekends and during lunch breaks, I get to do side-jobs since I have several clients. In a day I earn at least Rwf25, 000.
Muvandimwe said he is insured on his job. Mechanics deal with several risks that come from their constant contact with heavy metals.
“One time, I was replacing an engine and it slipped. Fortunately I saw it in time and moved out of its fall even though it squashed my finger. Such incidents could kill anyone and that is why we have to always be careful.”
“A garage is a clinic for cars although it’s different from the clinic for people because a patient can tell a doctor how they feel. The doctor does the diagnosis based on what the patient has told them, with the help of signs and symptoms. But with cars, it’s different; mechanics do several checkups until they discover the problem,” he explained.
Muvandimwe didn’t specialize in repairing a particular car brand.
“I repair all cars regardless of the brand. People think a Mercedes Benz is hard to repair but there is nothing unique about it besides having expensive spare parts,” Muvandimwe explained.
“Car owners should always be keen about the changes in their car. It’s important to address a problem in its early stages before the situation gets out of hand. Even a weird sound in your engine could be an indicator of a serious problem.
Before driving out of the parking lot, he says that it is essential to start an engine and wait for at least five minutes.
“People take servicing cars as a luxury and take it for granted and think fueling it is the only vital task. Minor complications can become serious and possibly cause an accident. For instance, in cases where the breaks fail to work which can be detected before you drive out of your home,” he argued.
Muvandimwe is not in a serious relationship but says the woman of his dreams is one who, “Besides looking good, should be hard working, intelligent and down to earth.”
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