Born on December 9, 1996, Besa Mumba still remains the youngest commercial pilot in Zambia and Africa after securing a pilot flying job with the nation’s scheduled airline, Proflight Zambia.
Mumba has already flown more than 15 hours on Zambian domestic routes alongside the captain of the aircraft on the airline’s Caravan aircraft since her appointment as a first officer this month, according to Proflight Zambia.
The 25-year-old born in Lusaka trained at the South African Flight Training Academy in Hiedelberg, Guateng in 2013 after her attaining her grade 12 results. She began with a Private Pilot License which enabled her to start flying within the same month and went on with the flight training course for two years. She went through a more complex training at SIMU flight in Pretoria to obtain her Commercial Pilots Licence, which she earned by the age of 18.
According to the young lady, piloting wasn’t her initial dream.
“Curiosity made me venture into an aviation career. Initially, I wanted to be cabin crew but I thought to myself: ‘why not be the person who flies the aircraft?’ From then I had questions on how planes fly, how they moved in the sky and I wanted to know how pilots knew where they were and where they were going. My curiosity grew… That’s why I decided to venture into the aviation as a pilot. I am very blessed, and proud to have had the opportunity to go to flight school to study and become a pilot,” said Ms Mumba to Proflight Zambia.
Mumba has become an inspiration to young girls and women in Zambia and across the continent, inspiring them to follow their dreams and reach for their goals.
“If you have a dream, work hard you can get to where you want,” she said. “I feel amazing! I hope the Zambian people will be inspired by my story to also reach for their dreams and goals because I think the sky is not the limit.”
Besa has surpassed the record set by Kalenga Kamwendo who became the country’s youngest pilot at 20.
Ms Mumba follows in the footsteps of a number of illustrious female flyers, including Zambia’s first female pilot Yichida Ndhlovu, and Major Nina Tapula, who was the first female pilot in the Zambian Air Force.
Happy Women’s Day!
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