When you think of a bouncer, you probably don’t think of a woman.
But an all-women bouncer squad in Nigeria is changing that.
Founded by Emem Thomas, the Dragon Squad is busting stereotypes and forging a new path in the male dominated industry.
Teased as a child for her body size, 37-year-old Thomas wanted to create a safe space for plus-size women to excel.
“When we started, we had difficulties to make the society believe that as women we can actually conduct and operate on event security,” Thomas told Reuters. “Most times when you talk to a client, the client will say ‘Ah, all females, no, no, no… you guys cannot handle it, I prefer to use the male.'”
Since its founding in 2018, the Dragon Squad now includes 43 women, who have worked at some 2,000 events, from club nights to political rallies, house parities to funerals.
Thomas hopes the Dragon Squad will help to break the barrier and demonstrate what women are capable of in every part of society.
“Before I joined Dragon Squad, I was thinking women could only do tailoring work, maybe hairdressing, sell things in the market or probably sit at home like house wife, but after I joined, I realized that women can do more, we are strong, we can do the men’s jobs too,” Margaret Joseph, one of the Dragon Squad women, told Reuters.