Leading Woman Marine in the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, Aniska Bonaby explained that she was always interested in scuba diving but never had the opportunity to do so until she joined the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
The maritime field is male dominated and in the RBDF women are also in the minority. However Aniska says that despite the stigmas associated with her strength and abilities, she has pushed herself, while upholding the military-grade standards of the force.
“A lot of people look at females as, they probably can’t do what it is that males can do, but some of the males during my training, they were actually a bit intimidated by me because I could do what they could do.”
Aniska continued, “I kept up and I did better than some of them, not all of them but I was just concerned about being respected in the field and in my career.”
The 36-year-old marine says that she is proud to be an example for other women as a diver and influences them to be more supportive of women who dare to go beyond conformity.
“I’ve had a lot of females come to me, asking me about diving and I try to encourage them as much as possible.”
“I love being underwater. It kinda brings me to a place of tranquility because it’s one of the things that I love that we get to see.” she said.
One of her most notable experiences as a diving marine was a BREEF workshop training she attended. She explains that awareness in the work BREEF does is essential because many locals may see the ocean but never have the opportunity to interact with it.
“I’ve grown up on an island, I’ve grown up in Nassau, I work around water but I never got to really appreciate it until I did the course at BREEF. We did fish ID, learned about the environment, went into the water, went into the mangroves and we got to see it all.”
She continued, “I was a little more educated about the environment and also the dangers especially as it relates to the coral reef and how important coral reefs are.”