Since, Bessie Coleman set a record for the first black female pilot in 1921 by becoming the first Black woman to obtain a pilot’s license, which was honoured in Dallas. Many young African-American women are bringing and keeping the victory that a woman’s job does not stop in the kitchen.
This article reveals ten black female pilots doing greats in aviation. Please keep reading to get inspired by their speech and life journey.
Here are Ten black female pilots Setting an Example for Future Generations.
Audrey Esi Swatson
Audrey Esi Swatson, Ghana’s Youngest Female Commercial Pilot, is introduced. At age 21, she joined Passion Air as a First Officer, flying the Dash8 Q-400 aircraft.
Audrey Esi Swatson Journey to Aviation
Audrey Esi Swatson received her primary education at the University of Ghana Basic School and her secondary education at Ghana Christian International High School.
She began her flight training at the Mach1 Aviation Academy in South Africa when she was 18. The inspiring lady took her first solo flight at 19 with Mach1 Aviation Academy and obtained her Commercial Pilot Licence at 21.
Audrey Esi Swatson
On September 14, 2022, she published “THE LADYBIRD,” a book about her journey to become Ghana’s Youngest Female Commercial Pilot. “Except for God and my parents, I owe everything I am and hope to be to school.” I would not be able to move on to a more positive place in my life without the education I have received throughout my life, the friends I have met and networked with, and the great teachers who have been there for me since day one.
I would not have had the opportunity to become a pilot or to inspire other children that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to. “Education has fulfilled me and made me a more positive person,” Audrey Esi Swatson said.
Who became Africa’s Youngest Female Commercial Pilot at 19 after joining Proflight Zambia as a First Officer.
Besa Mumba Life Journey
As a child, she became interested in aircraft, wanting to know how they managed to fly. She decided in high school that aviation was her future and planned to become a commercial pilot.
Besa Mumba began flight training in South Africa shortly after graduating high school, earning a Private Pilot’s Licence. She started her Commercial Pilot training at Flight Training Academy the following year, at 16, and graduated in 2015, the same year she turned 18.
Besa Mumba then completed her Advanced Flight Training at SIMU Flight in Pretoria before being hired by Proflight Zambia.
She joined Proflight Zambia as a First Officer on a Cessna Caravan in 2016, at 19, and has been a trailblazer ever since.
Besa Mumba is now a Captain on the same aircraft at ProCharter Zambia, Zambia’s most significant air charter company. She transports visitors around Zambia on their way to their dream vacations.
“If you have a dream and work hard enough, you can get where you want.” I feel fantastic! “I hope my story inspires young people and women to pursue their dreams and goals because I believe the sky is not even the limit,” said Captain Besa Mumba.
A Kenyan-born Aerospace Engineer and the Director of Space Partnerships and Research Company, East Africa’s first independent space research organization.
Wanjiku Kanjumba Life Journey
She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering.
Also, Kenya’s first graduate of the Advanced PoSSUM Space Academy’s Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Program.
She is the Co-Founder and Chair of Vicillion, a technology R&D firm specialising in making their clients’ product ideas a reality.
Wanjiku is also the Director and Assistant Head of Strategy and Communications at SPARC, East Africa’s first independent space company.
Wanjiku Kanjumba Speech
“When I was younger, I was fascinated by science and learning about how the world worked and objects from space.”
So I combined my love of learning about space with my interest in how things work, and the answer was Aerospace Engineering.”
“My educational journey has not been without challenges. Studying in the United States is extremely expensive, and my widowed mother primarily supported me; my father died of cancer when I was 12 years old. She had to make a lot of sacrifices to educate me, and there were times when I didn’t have enough money for food or wasn’t sure I’d even graduate. It was difficult, but God was faithful to us and saw me through my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering.
“If you limit yourself, you won’t accomplish much, but if you put no limits on yourself, the world is your oyster. Nothing is worse than living in regret, so take a chance on yourself; you are capable of much more than you believe, “Wanjiku Kanjumba stated.
South Africa’s first female surf pilot-engineer. She is the first African woman to command a 12398GRT drill ship in 2018. She graduated from the Durban University of Technology with a National Diploma in Marine Science and a Higher Diploma in Maritime Studies with a focus on Marine Transportation, as well as licenses as an Unlimited Chief Officer and 500-ton Master.
Makhosi Mbokazi Life Journey to Aviation
Captain Makhosi Mbokazi founded Marine Crew Welfare, a digital platform promoting marine crew welfare to support seafarers’ well-being in Africa.
She is currently Angola’s and South Africa’s only black female Surfer Pilot-Engineer. She has worked on container ships, patrol boats, research vessels, drilling vessels, and offshore supply vessels.
Makhosi Mbokazi Advice to Aspiring Pilot Engineers
“I never imagined the lengths I’d gone to get where I am. I never imagined my life would be like this. I didn’t realize how strong I was until I faced the highest waves in Mossel Bay, the roughest seas in the English Channel, and the heaviest traffic in the China Seas, Singapore, and Australia.”
“All aspiring female seafarers should come with an open mind, heart, and a desire to learn.” There is so much to learn, and the benefits are limitless. The sea is not the end, but it could be the beginning of a world of endless possibilities.
We didn’t have female role models at sea for the types of jobs we wanted. You’ve got us! Take advantage of every opportunity to learn from those who have gone before you! You can make the same errors we did. Improve our technique. “Be a better version of ourselves,” Captain Makhosi Mbokazi advises.
Kenya’s first female marine pilot, Elizabeth Marami.
At 25, she passed the International Unlimited 2nd Mate License examination in 2014, becoming Kenya’s first female marine pilot.
Elizabeth Marami Life Journey
She works as a First Officer for Celebrity Cruises Inc. She is the founder of Against the Tide, an online platform whose mission is to inspire and advocate for SDG 5 in the maritime sector by sharing the stories of female seafarers worldwide. Marami has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nautical Science from Egypt’s Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport, a Certificate in Maritime Studies from Germany’s Hochschule Bremen, and is currently pursuing an MBA in Operations Management from the University of Nairobi. “Working in a male-dominated industry has presented challenges, including gaining senior management’s respect as a female professional. I’ve had people accept me and help me grow, and I’ve had some rejections that hurt so bad I almost gave up, but overall, I’d say I’ve developed a thick skin, “Elizabeth Marami stated
One of Botswana’s first female military pilots.
She is the Founder and President of Dare to Dream, a social enterprise dedicated to advancing young women and girls in STEM Aviation and Aerospace, as well as developing entrepreneurial skills.
Kgomotso Phatsima Journey
She is a Commercial Pilot Licence holder from the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana, a Basic Military Flying holder from the Flying Training School (Botswana Defence Force), a Master of Science (MSc) in Strategic Management holder from the University of Derby, and a Bachelor of Education Science holder from the University of Botswana. Captain Phatsima came from humble beginnings in the small village of Ledumadumane. A town located just a short distance from Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.
She used to walk barefoot to school and see planes flying over her mother’s house, and she knew she was born to flee from a young age! She joined the Botswana Defence Force in 2009, armed with a Bachelor of Education Science in Mathematics and Physics, for a year of basic military training and has never looked back. “When I was growing up in the village, I never had the opportunity to sit down with a pilot or see the inside of a flying machine until I had the opportunity to fly it.” “After qualifying as one of the first female Military Pilots in Botswana Defence Force, I started Dare To Dream to inspire the next generation, especially girls and those who grew up in the village like me and give them a chance I never had.”
Senior First Officer Refilwe Moreetsi, two inspirational South African Airways (SAA).
On October 25, 2022, the two pilots made history by becoming the airline’s first black African female pilots to command a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town in its 88-year history.
Annabel Vundla Journey in Aviation
Captain Annabel Vundla is South African Airways’ first Black African Female Captain, and Senior First Officer Refilwe Moreetsi is the airline’s first Black African Management Pilot. She is also in charge of Fatigue Risk Management.
“My message to young girls is that their dreams are legitimate.” If this is something you want to do, it is possible. “Your gender and race are not a barrier,” Senior First Officer Refilwe Moreetsi stated.
Amanda Kandawire Khoza
Emirates’ inspirational Commercial Pilot and Senior First Officer of the Airbus A380 wide-body.
She has been flying for over 13 years and holds an ICAO Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) from South Africa’s 43 Air School.
Amanda Kandawire Khoza Journey
She is the Founder and CEO of Fly Like a Girl, an organization that uses educational toys to introduce children of all backgrounds to aviation – www.flylikeagirl.co.za.
“Through daily play routines, our educational toys introduce children to the wonders of aviation and inform them about STEM careers. All our products are made in the United States, and 20% of each sale goes toward a fund for future pilot bursaries, “Kandawire-Khoza stated.
“My aviation career began when I was five years old.”
It was my first commercial flight and the spark that started it all for me. I didn’t know any pilots or anyone in the aviation industry at the time, but I knew I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up,” she added.
Amanda Kandawire-Khoza grew up in Soweto, South Africa, and began flying solo when she was 18. She previously worked as a First Officer for South African Airways and SA Express before joining Emirates as a Senior First Officer in 2019.
Malawi Airlines’ inspirational Commercial Pilot and First Officer. She received a Private Pilot License from Aptrac Aviation in South Africa and a Commercial Pilot License from Madiba Bay School of Flight in Geqeberha, South Africa, where she gained experience flying various aircraft.
Lusekelo Mwenifumbo Journey to Aviation
Lusekelo returned to Malawi after obtaining her qualifications and successfully applied for a job with Malawi Airlines.
“My father always wished for me to become a pilot.” I was surprised when he asked if I wanted to try flying a plane. I then began reading aerodynamics out of curiosity to ensure that those little planes I saw on many websites with flight school names on their pitiful looking rudders would not make my life difficult when I enrolled for training one day.”
“In 2011, my father sent me to South Africa for flight training.” Aptrac Aviation provided me with my private pilot license. I then transferred to the Madiba Bay School of Flight, where I obtained my commercial pilot license and gained experience operating various aircraft. I returned home after finishing my course and applied for a job with Malawi Airlines, and I soon received notification that they were interested in my application.”
“Malawi Airlines told me they would send me to simulator training for their Bombardier Q400 aircraft.” They chose me, and I remember it like yesterday!”
“It makes no difference who you are or where you come from [rural or urban].” “You will achieve your goal regardless of stereotypes if you stay focused on your dignity and appreciate your worth with humility,” said Lusekelo Mwenifumbo.
Irene Koki Mutungi
Africa’s first female Boeing 787 Dreamliner Captain, Captain Irene Koki Mutungi.
She is Kenya Airways’ first female pilot and captain and oversaw Africa’s father-daughter and all-female crew flight.
Her father was a Kenya Airways pilot, and flying with him from a young age sparked her desire to become a pilot, and she has never looked back.
Irene Koki Mutungi Journey to Aviation
She began flying at 17 at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, earning her Private Pilot’s License. She went to the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States to get her Commercial Pilot’s License.
Irene Koki Mutungi returned to Kenya after obtaining her Commercial Pilot’s License and was hired by Kenya Airways as their first female pilot. She has been with the airline for more than a decade.
“My first flight was only a few days before I turned 18, and it was an incredible experience. My most memorable flight was one I shared with my father; it was his final flight with the airline, and he chose to end his career with a flight he shared with me.”
“Dreams give our lives meaning. They prepare us to set and then achieve our goals. A person without dreams is like a bird without wings. As a result, continue dreaming… Become, “Captain Irene Koki Mutungi stated.
These inspiring female African black pilots share a story to inspire young people to aviation careers: ” No career is ever easy to achieve. However, knowing that your role models or predecessors also experienced some hurdles would encourage you. “The doors are wide open for them now. The sky is not the limit.”