Gender-bender on cruise control to deliver sizzling hot pizzas to customers.
Donning a black helmet, oozing oodles of confidence, and on cruise control on her two-wheeler in Dubai, she has added a new dimension to a vocation in the UAE.
Gift Soloman, a Nigerian national, is, perhaps, the country’s first woman food delivery rider, who is at the beck and call of pizza aficionados.
Sizzling hot pizzas are a phone call away amid the new normal of social restrictions, work-from-home (WFH) regimen owing to the raging Covid-19 outbreak.
Khaleej Times caught up with Soloman in an exclusive interview amid her hectic schedule of daily delivery runs and a novel job profile that has overnight changed her life.
Solomon, who works for the UAE-based Freedom Pizza, which is a part of KRUSH Brands, is a fascinating tale of women empowerment in a country known for tolerance and pushing the envelope.
The Nigerian national had moved to Dubai in January 2015 in a bid to live the expatriate dream.
And Dubai didn’t disappoint her.
Though her current job title is assistant manager, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands to emerge as the UAE’s first woman food delivery driver, an enviable tag that would have always sat pretty but amplified even further because of the ongoing Covid-19 challenge.
Solomon, a creative, passionate, and driven woman, didn’t have to take up the delivery task. But she did because she can.
She said passion was the key that would keep her going.
“I put on my thinking cap when I am driving. It’s the best time to reflect on everything from home to past life experiences. I’m a free bird when I hit the road,” she said.
In retrospect, Freedom Pizza was a life-altering experience for her. It was not a job, but a glorious opportunity to start a new life. “Delivery isn’t a chore. It’s an opportunity to be an integral part of a person’s day. It’s that moment that gets me going,” she said.
She reasoned about a delivery rider as a vocation. “Most drivers ride for a reason. It can be a ticket to economic freedom. I’m riding for my family and loved ones. In Dubai, I don’t have a family, my colleagues at the workplace are my extended family,” she added.
She doesn’t see her role as a gender bender though. Neither does she consider this to be breaking a glass ceiling. She wants more women to join her tribe and grow in double-quick time.
KRUSH Brands is all for women’s empowerment.
Ian Ohan, founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Freedom Pizza, said, “Human capability, spirit, and brilliance should never be hidden. Women’s rights are human rights. We believe in every member of our team, so we invest in them, their futures, and their gifts.”
Soloman’s is an archetypal story of a woman’s leap of faith that blurs all boundaries amid a growing perception that the role of women, even in 2021, is often seen through a narrow prism.
But she isn’t complaining, as she steps on the gas to cater to a customer’s needs while history is being made in front of our eyes.