"My name is Mirriam Odura. I am a mechanic."
Mirriam is 33 years old. She is a mother, daughter, singer, athlete, advocate, role model, mechanic, business owner...simply put, Mirriam is a champion. She is also physically challenged. She is changing attitudes about what being 'dis'-abled means.
"She doesn't seem to be handicapped," says Mirriam's father. She has always wanted to explore, has always been adventurous. He said, "I cannot discourage her from anything." When she puts her mind to something she goes after it.
And that's just what she did in her career. When Bikes Not Bombs began the idea of a cooperative bike shop in Koforidua they reached out to disabled Ghanaians looking for a staff to not only run the shop, but own it. Mirriam approached BNB's David Branigan and said, "I want to be part of this program." And Ability Bikes was born.
After that, those same male mechanics came to Mirriam and asked her to help them true their rims. She said, "You are sitting there laughing at me. You want me to help you? I won't do that!" But she did. And now when a customer comes in needing a wheel repair or rebuild, the guys all point to Mirriam. She is the best wheel builder in Koforidua. She just happens to be a woman. And 'dis'-abled. Whatever that means. It certainly doesn't stop her.
Bikes for the World is shipping our fourth container to this project in October 2015. Mirriam may be fixing your old wobbly wheel in 2016! You can learn more about Mirriam in the video below.