1st Black Female Pilot Makes History

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday officially took office when he was sworn-in at Loftus Versveld Stadium in front of thousands of South Africans and several African heads of state.

Major Mandisa Mfeka, on the other hand, made history by becoming the first black woman combat fighter pilot in South Africa.

“When you set a goal and you follow it with a plan, eventually, you start attracting scenarios that enable you to get closer to that goal. Before you know it, you achieve what you set out,” says the young pilot.

Mfeka said her fascination with planes started out when she was very young. “My grandmother used to take us to Virginia Airport to watch air shows. At the time she couldn’t afford to buy tickets, so we didn’t attend the air shows, but she parked her car outside the fence, and we would enjoy the displays.”

Mfeka discovered the South African Air force at the age of 16, and that is when she knew that this was the career she wanted to pursue.

To be a combat pilot, one needs to have resilience to face the challenges that come with the profession, she notes.

“If I can use the analogy of a tree bark; it is soft, but then the environment exposes it to harsh elements, in time the tree bark becomes strong, so as human beings, we are the same. We don’t realise how resilient we are until we face those challenges in life, which force us to step up,” she added.

By: Staff Reporter