On the day she was rostered to sail MV Thorco Rio from Port Harcourt to Bonny anchorage, Nkopuyo Emmanuel Abraham, one of Nigeria’s first Female Marine Pilots wrote: ‘ I was amazed and excited for the first time since I started working as a Pilot that three women (herself, the 2nd Engineer and the Able Seaman, all Filipinos) were on board the ship. It then means women are breaking loose, set free, no more in handcuffs; women are no more scared; women are taking bold steps; women are closing the gaps; women are on the front row; women are making waves”
Sure, Nkopuyo has broken barriers and is sitting on the front row of the main deck of ships, sailing and making real waves.
Nkopuyo, 38, together with another female, Marine Pilot Abiodun, became the first female Marine Pilots in Nigeria.
Nkopuyo obtained her License( Grade IV) in 2012 after facing a Pilotage Board and passing the requisite examination.
Another Pilotage Board awarded Nkopuyo the Grade 111 License two years later.
The Oruk Anam born alumnus of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron, where she was a Deck Cadet, started work at the Nigerian Ports Authority in 2005, a year after graduation.
She underwent further trainings at the South Africa Maritime Training Academy and the School of Maritime Operations, Fleetwood Nautical Campus, Blackpool,in the United Kingdom, in ship handling, maritime radio operations and marine pilotage.
She worked at Apapa Port from 2005 till 2007 when she was transferred to Port Harcourt Port where she is currently serving..
She is a recipient of several awards including the NPA Award in Recognition of Expertise, Gallantry and Dedication; the Women in Logistics and Transport( WILAT) Award for being an Outstanding Role Model in the industry and the MAN Alumni Amazon Award.