Ivana Alvares-Marshall - Founder & Governor of the African Section 99s
Born and raised in Malawi. At the tender age of 10 years old she dreamed of becoming a pilot. The dream started when she did a round the world trip and was emigrating to New Zealand with her parents. The round a world trip was not meant to be so, however circumstances made it happen that way. When she completed her high school education she still held onto her dream of flying and so it came to be. There were many challenges and obstacles she has faced throughout her career, one of the hardest was losing her best friend and roommate in a plane crash when she was learning to fly at the age of 17 years old. Apart from the flying side Ivana has also held numerous jobs Flight Instructing, Airport Administrator, organising fly-in events, these are some of the other attributes she has. Ivana’s aviation journey has taken her to so many wonderful countries, she has been flying for 20 years. She started her flying career in Malawi gaining a PPL then went to South Africa in pursuit of obtaining a South African Commercial Pilot Licence. Thereafter, she has attained two more licences under her belt namely the FAA CPL, CFI,CFII and EASA ATPL. She has always flown in the corporate sector of aviation. Flying the Learjet 45 and Cessna Citation Bravo Jet. Recently working for a private bank in Malawi on the King Air B200. She has been a member of the Arabian Section 99s for some years until very recently, when she was chosen for the post as African Section Governor. Ivana is the Founder and Governor of the African Section 99s. Her message to other females who aspire to become pilots, is never lose sight of your dreams, faith, perseverance and determination will help you achieve anything your heart desires.
Dr Andrea (Sibylle) Claussen
Sibylle is a medical doctor, executive coach, entrepreneur, freediver and musician. She lives in Cape Town/South Africa and Frankfurt M./Germany and accomplished her PPL-H on Robinson R 44 in 2011 at Helitransair Egelsbach near Frankfurt/Germany. She used to have a rating for helicopter Guimbal G2 but decided to focus on flying R 44.Flying helicopter as a private pilot has been a great journey and is an ongoing process and challenge to train and fly as much as she can. She loves the change of perspectives during every flight, the weather challenges and the feeling of freedom.
In her second home in Cape Town/Kommetjie - her favorite place to be - she enjoys the ocean, nature and the lifestyle. Flying heli in Cape Town area has been the most beautiful and amazing experience so far. More R44 flight-training in the bush near Port Elizabeth is planned for this this year.
She started to fly when she was 20. She always had her head up when she was a child, as she grew up close to an airport between the mountains. The aircraft had to fly over her head . She finally found a way to become a pilot when she was 20. She left Switzerland for Canada for 10 months to do PPL-CPL-IR. When she returned back she validated her Swiss license, ATPL frozen . It took her two years to find her first job. She really wanted to fly privately and work in the corporate sector in aviation. She managed to get her first jet job at 24 years old and became a captain at 31. She has flown Learjet (31-35-55-60) for more than 15 years, of which 10 years were spent flying in Africa. She had been living in Abidjan flying for Air Côte d'Ivoire on the Q400. First airline and first turboprop! She is now studying Aviation Management in Switzerland.
Dina Dawod - Vice Governor African Section
With a dream of traveling the world Dina became an air hostess. With each flight she was pulled toward the cockpit. It wasn’t long after she left her family behind and went to America to become a pilot. What makes her story unique is that Dina is from Egypt, and when she went to America her dream turned into the most challenging times of her life. Some might call a nightmare, but not Dina. From living through a plane crash, and then treated as a terrorist, she never quit. Today she flies as a first officer on the A320 for a corporate company in Egypt. Dina has been a member of the 99s for 4 years under the Arabian Section. She is the first Arab and African female pilot who got the scholarship from the 99s organization. Dina is now a member of the African Section and Vice Governor.
Edith is a mixed origins woman, rich in culture being French-Senegalese by her Father and Ivorian-German by her Mother. The fact that she grew up and lived in Abidjan most of her life determines a big part of her personality. She is Ivorian above all!
Her passion for aviation comes from her early childhood. She had been exposed from a very young age to this extraordinary world of aviation, surrounded by airline pilots including her father and uncles. Like Obelix, she fell into the pot when she was very little in spite of herself! However, it wasn’t until she started college that she really decided to become an airline pilot. This followed, the premature death of her father, a former Captain at the multinational Air Afrqiue.
After obtaining her scientific baccalaureate at the French high school Blaise Pascal, she entered the aviation school, Aeronautical Institute in Amaury de Lagrange in France. After that, she immediately wanted to go back home to Ivory Coast. They were not hiring at the time, so she started working at Air Ivoire in different departments as a support officer, such as Human Factors and Flight Engineering. A year later, she went for her A320 type rating in the Air France training center and started flying as an airline pilot. Unfortunately, the Company did not survive the crisis the country was going through and filed for bankruptcy. Fortunately, Senegal Airlines hired her immediately. It was an opportunity for her to strengthen ties with her country of the Teranga. In search of new horizons, she finally decided to settle in the Middle East where she has lived for 7 years and has had the opportunity to fly the Airbus A330 and her favourite Airbus, the A340-600 that used to be the longest aircraft until it got dethroned by the B747-800.
She is an explosive Molotov cocktail, which intrinsically pushes her continuously to open her mind to new culture, being more and more tolerant while hating the routine. And that is what she loves about Aviation. It gave her the opportunity to work with diverse people, to travel around the world and of course, her Germanic side has some affection for the technique and precision coming along with it.
When she started her career, they were only two women pilot in the airlines, and her colleague is now like an eldest sister to her. However, she remembers at that time feeling isolated with no one else to discuss about particularities related to their nature and profession. That’s why when she discovered the 99s only recently, she immediately joined resuting to be able to be part of a big sisters’ family, and instantly regret not to have known sooner!
She was the youngest Ivoirian and Senegalese female pilot, which always made her want to inspire and foster vocations among young people, and more particularly young African women. The 99s platform gives her the leverage to develop a mentoring program, and contribute to reach her goal. She is now committed to her new family and sincerely hopes to get the chance to invest herself more.
She was lucky to join the Air Mauritius cadet program in 1998 having been keen on aviation since she was in her early teens.
She went to flying school in the north of France at IAAG/ Ecole de Pilotage Amaury de la Grange and graduated in 2000: CPL/IR ATPL.. Started flying the ATR42/72 in Air Mauritius that same year.
In 2004, She was upgraded on to fly the A340 on the Air Mauritius long haul network, followed by the A330 when the airline acquired them.
In 2011 she decided to move to Singapore and explore new skies, She took up a job with Jetstar Asia as a First Officer on the A320. She upgraded to Captain A320 in 2012 and also became a CRM instructor.
Air Mauritius's recruitment drive to hire back locals, brought her back to her home in 2017, and since then she is based in Mauritius flying the A320 for Mauritius Airlines.
She was the 3rd female Mauritian pilot and the first Mauritian female captain. She has started a small group in Mauritius with the other lady pilots and try to meet up regularly.
Dawn Evans - Treasurer of The African Section 99s
Having always wanted to learn how to fly, she began her ppl in January ‘83 whilst in her final year at university. Financing the training with a Saturday job, she gained a ppl in sept ‘84 in minimum hours (couldn’t afford to pay for extra!)
Her first instructor suggested she go the commercial route; but having made a few enquiries about how applications from women were received in the industry back in the day, and discovering that one particular airline binned them, she decided not to bother and simply fly for fun!
In ‘92 she did gain a commercial license, but really did it just to prove to herself that she could... It’s never been used in that sense, but improved her flying and was a great experience.
A year later she and her husband bought their first aircraft, a Condor, a taildragger which she happily flew for seven years before exchanging for a 4-seat Koliber which they still have today.
Her flying has been a purely recreational activity, largely conducted at weekends visiting various airfields and grass strips in the UK; and they have toured France extensively for holidays.
It has given her virtually all of her friends and is a part of her life that she could never be without.
There is nothing to compare with the joy of flight.
Through flying she has had the opportunity to join the 99s and meet lots of new people and visit lots of new places. Surely this is the new icing on the cake!
Commercial pilot, Founder and CEO Bambino life foundation (an organisation that promotes girl child education and empowerment among other things), Brand ambassador sky plus Young aviators club (an organization that encourages children to join the aviation industry) Director STEM Queens Uganda (an initiative that encourages young girls to join and participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics industry) Chair Global goodwill ambassadors Uganda chapter and a member of the Ninety nines.
Ashaba Was raised by a single parent in the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda.She is the first born of two children, she and her younger brother who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration. Her background is humble and so it never crossed her mind that one day she would be a pilot because she couldn't afford having such an expensive dream due to her family's financial status. After her high school she attended the East African Civil Aviation academy to pursue a diploma in flight operations and management, it was a bit expensive but her mother said she would do anything to get her through the one year course, and she normally would be late on payment but she managed nevertheless.. It was during her time there that she fell in love with piloting, She was inspired by two lady pilots who attended the school. At the time it was inspiring seeing them fly, but above everything else knowing that there were not many women pilots who drove. She knew she wanted, and had to become one. Long story short, she got a scholarship and here she is today. She started Bambino life foundation straight out of high school, her humble background was her biggest inspiration because she knew what it meant to lack, back then being young . She didn't have funding and couldn't wait forever for it.
So she decided to start with whatever she had at that particular time, she would collect used items that were no longer needed and would give them to children that needed them the most. She was always passionate about children from the very start. She wanted to help them the best way she could, so she would collect used toys,books,shoes etc and give them to those who needed them most. With time after becoming a pilot, She wanted to use her profession as a platform to reach out to young girls and inspire and encourage them to believe in themselves. So she started up the promoting girl child education and empowerment project. Through the project she empowers young girls in rural areas by teaching them hands on skills to promote sustainability. They are now a team of young energetic people who want to bring change to their communities and country as a whole.
Originally from Eritrea, East Africa, grew up in Ethiopia watching planes takeoff and land at the capital city of Addis Ababa International Airport. With a yearning for travel, it was Sophie’s childhood dream to work for an airline. But with a keen focus on education, she aspired to first complete her college studies before pursuing a career in aviation. She graduated from Addis Ababa University with a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and literature in June of 1989.
That same month, rather than follow the more traditional path for a woman of that time and pursue a role as a flight attendant, Sophie chose instead to apply for an 18-month pilot training program, and for the first time in the 26-year history of the Ethiopian Airlines’ Flight Academy, she became the first woman to enter the school. Ms. Ghezai earned the distinction of becoming Ethiopian Airlines’ first female commercial pilot in 1991. After receiving her wings, Sophie flew for six years in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as a first officer of the DHC-6 and the Boeing 737, as well as a flight engineer on the Boeing 707.
In 1997, Sophie’s career was placed on hiatus when she moved with her husband and her first son to Saudi Arabia, where women’s roles in the workplace were limited to segregated employment. She took this time to focus on family, raising her two young sons and finding time for personal hobbies, including reading, traveling, scuba diving as well as taking Arabic lessons. Several years later, when the family was relocated to Washington D.C., she immediately took to flying again. Sophie took lessons at Dulles Aviation to convert her Civil Aviation Pilot License to a Federal Aviation Administration certificate, receiving her Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) to fly in the United States. Once complete, she again took to the skies with Atlantic Coast Airlines in 2001, which later became Independence Air (FLYi), as a first officer on the J-41 and CRJ-200.
Unfortunately, when the airline filed for bankruptcy in 2005, her flying career was again placed on hold. As a single mother, she made the decision to enter the real estate business, which provided the flexibility she needed to give more time to her children. She also took this time, with support from her family, to complete Safety Management System (SMS) courses and Audit course at MITRE, and internship at the Air Navigation Bureau at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) followed by State Safety Program (SSP) course at ICAO. Following this, she earned her master’s degree in aviation management and aviation aerospace safety systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which she completed in 2016. She credits the support of her family and partner helping her to keep her dream alive and enable her to continue to meaningfully pursue her passion for aviation.
With her two boys in college at Bowdoin and Swarthmore, Sophie joined Airlines for America (A4A) in 2016, as the director of aviation safety and operations, where she now works closely with the nation’s leading airlines to advise, evaluate and develop standards and procedures that maximize safety and improve operational efficiency. https://wjla.com/amp/features/working-women/pilot-sophie-ghezai-safety-director-airlines-for-america.
Sophie also devotes her time to personally moving the needle on the U.S. airline industry’s commitment to making a career in aviation accessible for people of all genders and backgrounds. For the last fifteen years, Sophie has participated in Women in Aviation International (WAI), Organization for Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), the International Association of Women in Aviation (IAWA) as well as the Aero Club of Washington DC. She often serves as mentor to young women, and sponsors their travel to attend industry events, empowering them to take an active role in aviation.
Thinking back on her life, she remembers being a 6-year-old girl full of dreams in primary school. One day her English teacher asked her the most difficult question she has ever been asked. “What would like to become one day when you grow up, Hannah?” She stood there, looking up to her with a million things running in her mind simultaneously. Suddenly a smile ran across her face as she remembered her mother talking about aeroplanes and how exciting it was being 30,000 feet up in the sky. Without second guessing she answered her teacher “A Captain” that is what I would like to become, Madam.
Graduating from high school, her dad disapproved of her idea to become a pilot as he knew the expenses involved and being a protective parent, he did not want her to be disappointed.
Late 2016, she saw an aeroplane flying in a beautiful Malawian night sky, right there and then she realised “I already have wings in my heart and soul, all I need to do is to take the leap of faith spread those wings and fly”.
She took action and saved every penny earned from a low-income career and got herself registered into an aviation school. No words can explain the joy and pride in her father eyes as he looked at her whilst staring at her Student Pilot Licence and test Scores. She is looking forward to hold her Private Pilot Licence and ultimately fly an A380 with one of the prestigious airlines. Now she knows even the impossible is made possible when you believe.
Laura was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo; however South Africa has been her home from a young age. She matriculated from Pretoria High School for Girls in 2003 and in late 2004 began her dream of becoming a pilot. Laura received her South African Air Force (SAAF) military pilot wings in July 2007 on the PC7 MkII Astra, then trained towards a rotor wing licence.
A few months later she attained her Helicopter Private Pilot Licence at Starlite Aviation, then further completed her SAAF military helicopter conversion course. She flew many national and international military missions on the medium transport Atlas Oryx helicopter as a member of 15 Squadron, home based at Air Force Base Durban from 2008 until early 2013.
Laura holds both the South African (SACAA) multi-engine instrument Helicopter and Airplane Commercial Pilot Licences, as well as the American (FAA) Commercial Pilot Rotorcraft instrument and the Private Pilot Airplane Airman Certificates. She is currently employed as a contract rotor wing and fixed wing pilot for Starlite Aviation Operations, through Crew Resources International, flying the King Air 200, Beechcraft 1900, Super Puma 332L and 332C1e (H215), Puma 330J and BK117 C1. She worked for Starlite Ops in Kosovo from 2012-2014, and presently works for Starlite in Mali.
With eyes that saw what is, a mind that dreamed of what could be and an ambition to merge the two was how Amina interacted with her childhood in the dusty town of Isiolo, Kenya where the dominant culture is male chauvinistic and the collective identity is that of being marginalized and underdeveloped even relative to the rest of Kenya. Amina grew up in Isiolo fortunately in an educated household, one in which she was allowed to say things like "I want to be a pilot" even if all she knew of planes at six years old was that her father went on them on his trips abroad and that the smiling lady on the cover of the inflight magazine he brought home in 2000(Captain Irene Koki Mutungi) flew planes and so would she someday.
This dream informed her entire educational path as she was admitted to the best girls’ high school in Kenya, The Alliance Girls High School after being top in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. She went on to be awarded a full scholarship to the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing, China where she graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautics (design option) and thereafter a full scholarship to Belgrade University, Belgrade, Serbia where she attained her Master of Science in Air Traffic and Transport Engineering. It is in Serbia that she acquired her Private Pilot License in the first step towards the achievement of her dream of commercial flying.
She is currently an Operations Manager at Skyward Express while working towards her commercial pilot’s license and with plans to undertake her PhD in Operations Research (Tentative Research proposal title; Statistical Ananalysis And Planning Of Domestic Airport Networks For The Single African Air Transport Market). Amina is passionate about languages too, currently speaking 9 languages while committed to learning more. Her ultimate goal is to have her own life power something greater than herself by inspiring young girls that no depths of beginnings are too low from which to soar to the skies and beyond.
Abimbola Jayeola (BSc, MSc, FAA ATPL)
She hails from Ekiti State in Western Nigeria. She comes from a family of five and a background that holds educational achievement and academic pursuit as important values. This influenced her to pursue a career path in academics and research, obtaining a Bachelors’ degree in Environmental Management and Toxicology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and a Masters in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
“Capt. Abi,” as she is fondly called, drew inspiration for life in the cockpit from reading articles on aviation and aerodynamics. She began fantasizing about flying aircrafts and imagined herself soaring at extreme heights while helping people and goods move from one point to another. Fresh out of graduate school, Abimbola completed an ab-initio training at Bristow Academy Titusville, Florida in 2008. In 2009, she did her type conversion on the Sikorsky 76 at Flight Safety International, West Palm Beach , Florida and graduated as the first Nigerian female pilot from Bristow Academy. She officially joined Bristow Helicopters Nigeria as a first officer in the same year.
In 2014, Abi was promoted to the rank of Captain, becoming the first female helicopter Captain in Nigeria. In over a decade’s worth of experience, Abi has been able to successfully navigate the challenges of a male – dominated profession. From career strides of managing different helicopter models, to working with her employer’s clients, these challenges have made her a better, smarter pilot always striving for excellence and setting new goals. Abi’s interests include agriculture, business, art and culture. She is married and lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
She began her aviation career in 2008 at Pretoria Flying School in South Africa. She was initially accepted into University to study Actuarial science but after attending an aviation career presentation she decided she wanted to become a pilot. She was fascinated with the prospect of a career that was so different and broad. Although she went through phases of her flight training where she struggled, she persevered. She opted to keep a good positive attitude and continue striving to become the best. She was determine to become a flight instructor so that she could share what she had learnt through teaching and mentoring.
Shortly after completing her flight instructor’s rating she began to work at Botswana’s first flying school. Bots Flying Academy now formally known as International Aviation. She attained her Grade 2 (advanced instruction) rating and moved on to become a charter pilot. . She ventured into ground training and soon became Operations Manager of Air Shakawe. She is curently employed as a Flight Operations Inspector with the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana.
A commercial pilot. Flying was like a fairytale to her. She never thought she could get to it that easily due to the costs that are adhered. She dreamt about it for so long, after finishing high school, got a turkish scholarship to go study in turkey and that was her very first flight. Just the experience she had flying for the fist time as a passenger sparked that desire for flying big time. The whole time spent in Turkey she learnt the turkish language and passed, thereafter, she started searching for aviation schools without even knowing where the funds were going to come from, she still went for it. With the support from her mom the dream become a reality. She went to America at Aerosim flight academy(L3 airline academy) thats where she graduated as a commercial pilot. It is her dream to inspire more girls of malawi to persue aviation as a career.She believes its very much ok to dream high and work towards that dream no matter how hard or the situation may seem to be like.
A commercial Pilot, Captain on the Q400 dash 8. Yolanda is from Malawi and currently working for Malawian Airlines. She had a passion for aeroplanes since she was six years old and never dreamt of being anything else other than a pilot. She completed her flying training in 2009 and started working for the national airline Malawian Airlines. She commanded the first all female crew flight in 2017. She loves flying and is always trying to be the best version of herself by learning from all those around her. In her spare time she enjoys aerobics, watching movies and taking vacation trips with her family. Yolanda is a role model to many Malawian young girls in the country she has done numerous talks to the youth about her career and continues to do so inspiring the nation.
Taahira Khan from Zimbabwe. At the early age of 4 years old she attended her first airshow, ever since that day, her father always told her, she never stopped telling him one day she would fly those aeroplanes. After completing college it was still her dream to become a pilot. Due to financial difficulties she was only able to complete her PPL. She relocated to South Africa where she slowly worked towards gaining a CPL. The obstacles didn't deter her passion to complete her CPL. She washed aeroplanes at her flying school to gain free hour building hours and did administration work for the school for free training hours. She completed her ab-initio flight instructor rating. The flying school she trained at, employed her as an instructor. She now works for a company called Coastal Aviation as Caravan line pilot in Tanzania. She still aspires to be a Boeing 777 training captain in the future.
Her message to fellow females aspiring to become pilots is to never give up, hard work and perseverance will always pay off in the end.
She was born and raised in a humbled back ground in Soweto. She never knew about aviation or aircrafts until, she had to fly with her mom with the ticket she had won and even now she can't explain the excitement she had just by entering the airport. she never stopped asking questions until she came back home. From her last grade of school her passion for aviation had grown so much that she started seeking opportunities in aviation until she came across a post to apply for a workshop held by Girl's fly program in Africa (GFPA) and she was fortunate enough to be selected for a sim-flight and engaged with phenomenal women who have made it within the aviation field.
She then applied to a flight school after her high school and has managed to finish her PPL exams including first Solo flight. Due to financial challenges she is still trying her best to complete her PPL, the challenges she faces has not stopped her from finding other opportunities within aviation. She is humbled to have been given a sponsorship to begin her drone Pilot training. She believes in perseverance and keep seeking opportunities.
It’s true, the journey to becoming a Pilot starts off as a love story. She had almost given up on her dream. Ideally, she wanted to commence with her Pilot training straight after high school but was financially challenged and even then, had never been on board an airplane. Her parents were struggling back then so her only option was to start working. Within the following years she got a job at a pharmacy store where she met a 35-year-old lady who had just had her solo flight earlier that morning. The bizarre thing is that she herself had worked at the same pharmacy, in my junior position and watched the years go by until she decided to take charge. She introduced her to the concept ‘pay-as-you-go flying’ and advised that she too could fly while working.
so Busisiwe began her training in 2018 and her instructor asked if she had ever been on an airplane, she lied. Her first time in the sky was on her intro flight in a Piper Warrior. Nervous but unshaken, she knew it was destiny!
South Africa remains a developing country with various political issues that affect specific demographics; financial assistance in Aviation is still very scarce. As a black woman, she found it twice as hard to source out funds and an Aviation career is not so popular around her townships. They lack both the resources and opportunities. She worked for the company Diners Club International to help pay her tuition at U-fly Training Academy in Rand Airport. She is also an author and has published a short work of fiction with Black Letter Media in early 2018. She attends national airshows religiously and has had the honor to meet the iconic Puma Flying Lions.
What she enjoys most about flying is the sudden escape it offers once you take-off, to be able to leave behind all her doubts, problems and fears on the ground and focus only on what’s ahead. Scenery is a bonus!
She has a strong desire to subseuently build partnerships with more female pilots soon and reignite the passion that haunts financially incapable, aspiring pilots like herself.
Funmilayo Makinde is a Nigerian Private Pilot Licence holder, currently undergoing her Instrument Rating (Airplane) in Deland Aviation, Deland, Florida, USA.
Since she was a child she always dreamed of flying the iron bird, she still has goose bumps when she sees an airplane taxi to the active runway and goes full throttle for take off. The clean configuration and climb into the sky always leaves her in awe and for this reason her love for aviation got triggered .
Although she come from a family of pilots, her father and 2 of her siblings (sisters) are Helicopter pilots, she is the first within her nuclear family to endeavour into fixed wings.
Being part of the Aviation family for her is more than the beauty in the uniform or the “so cool” feeling but being part of those who re write history especially with the gender stereotype.
She really aspires to be an agent of change to the industry, especially in her country (Nigeria). Not just being a pilot but being able to grow into managerial roles in terms of governance, polices and regulations.
She holds a BSc degree in Computer Science with a CGPA of 4.0/5.0 from Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.
Prior to her path in aviation, she had a 2 year cumulative work experience in the FinTech/Technology space.
She had the opportunity to work with renowned Nigerian based companies known for their tremendous impact in Nigeria’s economy.
In 2017, She worked as a Business Development Analyst in a technology company (Softcom, Lagos, Nigeria) and in 2018, she transitioned to a FinTech company (TeamApt, Lagos, Nigeria) as a Governance and Compliance Manger.
Recently, she published a paper titled “Development of Online Clearance System for an Educational Institution” on International Conference on Applied Informatics (ICAI), 2019 which was her final year dissertation in university.
However, she aspires to build her academic career to the level of PhD in a dynamic way combing her love for Aviation and Technology.
Mopelola Makinde- Iyiola
Most people call her Lola from Nigeria. She is the sister of Funmilayo. She flies the Sikorsky Sk 76 Helicopter in Nigeria for Bristow Helicopters. Lola is a mother to 3 boys and comes from a family of pilots. Lola is the first of seven girls. Her father and husband are both pilots including two other sisters. She holds a BSc in Computer Science from Madonna University Okija Eastern part of Nigeria. She started pursuing her flying career in 2007 Feb. She attained her PPL in helicopters at JNC helicopters in Durban South Africa and was sponsored by Aero Contractors Company to finish her CPL/IR in Helicopters at 43 Air School in Port Alfred South Africa. She started flying commercially since 2009 up to date. She has flown various helicopters such as the Augusta AS 365s , Bell 412 & now on the Sikorsky SK 76. She loves flying.
Rebecca Manu from Ghana,a graduate from Radford University College Ghana,where she earned a Bsc in Business Administration (Human Resource management) after doing a course in passenger handling.
During her internship she met a friend who inspired and motivated her to become a pilot. She applied to CTK flight Academy in Ghana and finally gained admission to pursue her career in learning to fly. Her goal is to become an airline pilot.
Growing up Winnie always had love for thrill and adventure .Born and raised in a small city(Mzuzu)in Malawi .While in high school at the age of 15 she met a friend who told her about flying and from that point she knew that's all she wanted to do.She became obsessed with female pilots and flying .Being a Malawian girl the idea of girls flying wasn't so common in the country ."I remember when I told my grandmother I wanted to become a pilot she was so surprised because only men could become pilots in her time" Winnie says .She started flying in 2017 a year after she graduated from high school, her mother used the gap year to raise up funds to begin her training.Learning how to fly was not easy for her but the love and passion for aviation grew stronger with each flight and at this point giving up was inevitable.Family has been her biggest support system till date.
Still on the journey of becoming a commercial pilot ,currently completing her last phase of training at 43 air school in South Africa ,Winnie says it has been the most fulfilling experience in her entire life.she hopes to work for malawian airlines and other international airlines but also has a great interest in instructing and bush flying, basically any flying job fits for her. She dreams to one day fly the Boeing 787 dreamliner.
Irene KokI Mutungi
Captain Irene Koki Mutungi (Commonly referred to as Koki Mutungi) is a professional pilot in Kenya. She undertook her studies with Kenya School of Flying for her Private Pilots License and undertook her Commercial Pilots License and other ratings at Crabtree Aviation, Oklahoma, USA. She. Is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Aviation Safety management.
Her career started with Kenya Airways the National Carrier of Kenya where she rose through the ranks to the current position of Captain of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
She is a lady of many firsts
She was employee 001 Female Pilot at Kenya Airways and was the only female for the airline for close to 6 years when she was hired in 1995. In 2004 she became the first African Woman to qualify to command a Boeing 737 and led Africas’ first all female crew on a flight the same year. She was the first female on the African Continent to become certified as a Captain of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
In 2014 she was named among “The 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa” by Forbes Magazine. She has received numerous awards , among them Business Daily’s “ Top 40 under 40 “ for 5 consecutive years , Women4Africa Award (UK) in 2014 , Akwaaba – Africa Travel Award ( Nigeria ) 2009 and 2017 amongst others. She was also featured on CNN International as a “Change Maker” in 2020.
Koki is a well rounded Pilot with a wealth of experience from both the private and public sector spanning over 20 years. She has been successful in mentoring young ladies and positively impacting the female population, especially in Kenya, who have repeatedly cited her as their reason for becoming Pilots.
Captain Koki Mutungi is a certified pilot who sits on various boards. Tapping into her experiences and industry insights, she has previously spoken at several national and international forums. Her passion on Aviation and Mentoring is evident and her presentations have largely revolved around these issues.
She also has an interest in mentoring and coaching young upcoming Aviation professionals and in her free time participating in mentoring sessions with various schools and colleges. Her vision is to start a foundation to mentor and later fund training especially for the less privileged boys and girls helping them reach for the stars by going for what they believe in. Koki enjoys reading, writing, gardening and spending time with her family. She is a mother of two boys.
Lî, is born and bred in Windhoek, Namibia.
She started her flying journey in George, South Africa and completed my Commercial Licence in 2014, at 43 Air School. Thereafter, she was a jump pilot flying a Cessna 182, at Skydive Namibia. In 2016, Her journey as a First Officer at , Air Namibia her country's national airline carrier. She completed her Embraer 145 rating in Zurich, Switzerland. After two years on the domestic fleet, she has now moved onto the Airbus A319 the regional fleet.
She has an unquestionable and unwavering passion for aviation, and especially to advocate for, empower and support of all females in the industry.
From South Africa Samantha started flying when she was 16 years old and money was tight, she had to catch snakes to sell to pay for her training at one stage. Changing landing lights, debt collecting, washing aircraft - she did it all. Her dream was to become a search and rescue pilot. And so she did it. She became one of the youngest Captains in the South African Police service at age 20. She is still passionate about rescue flying as she is still a captain on an Air Ambulance service in Joburg. Samantha also has a Bachelor of commerce degree from the University of South Africa (Cum laude) as well as a Post graduate qualification in Financial planning from the University of the Free State. She is an Aviation Specialist Financial planner for a local financial services provider and she helps pilots take control of their finances in the same way they control their aircraft and guide them in spreading their wings of wealth. She is passionate about helping women find their rightful place in a male dominated industry.
Atinuke Stanley-Pepple is a Commercial airline pilot on the Boeing 737 Classic series and a lawyer called to the Nigerian Bar Association with a deep passion for causing positive and lasting change in the youth through global impact.
Born into a family of pilots and married to one, Aviation is home to her. She hopes to leave a lasting legacy in the aviation industry and the world at large by contributing and building a safe and conducive environment for greatness and development based on fairness, christian values, positive work culture regardless of position, gender and background.
She is a pilot in training; currently studying towards her PPL at the UK based Gamston Flying School. A somewhat unique situation, as her husband is her teacher. She has had a fascination with the magic and possibilities of flying since a young age. Bridget has a first class honours degree in English, and a masters degree (distinction) in human resources international management and development. She is currently is studying for a degree in psychology and works as a psychological wellbeing practitioner for the NHS in the UK. Besides flying, she enjoys yoga, running, traveling and nature.
Dr Mandy Walker MSc(HRM), BA(Psych), FCIPD, MBPsychS, MIoD
Mandy recently decided to join the world of female aviators. She is always looking for the next challenge. What a wonderful challenge she has chosen, to gain her PPL. Her passion for learning to fly was fuelled by most of her family members who are pilots her two brothers who are pilots, her son who is a flight instructor and pilot, daughter in law Bridget (member of the African Section 99s) learning to fly and sister in law Ivana who is also a pilot.
Mandy is the founder of QiResults and operates as the Managing Director. She is a leading practitioner in understanding how people behave during change, and has demonstrated her expertise in how to raise and sustain workforce morale in difficult environments. Her doctoral studies demonstrate that change is a shift of one thing to another, whereas transformation includes a shift of thinking. She is acknowledged as an expert in transformation and culture shift.
By profession Mandy is an applied psychologist and specialises in finding practical solutions to complex soft problems. She works to reduce and remove the waste caused by unhelpful behaviours and limiting cultural norms in the workplace. She has gained a reputation for measurably improving workplace effectiveness in complex projects in public, private, and third sectors, particularly where the tax payer is ultimately paying the bill for the service or goods being provided. She leads a specialist consultancy team of engineers, strategists and psychologists, expert in helping organisations develop their internal practices and processes to deliver efficient, value for money output, with maximum behavioural impact.
She survives this complex world in which she operates because of strength drawn from steadfast friends, a passion for skiing, a wicked sense of humour, a firm faith in goodness, and the grounding that comes from being raised in a South Yorkshire coal mining family. Additionally, Mandy has two adult children who are professionals she describes as “my anchor in stormy weather, and simply two wonderful people who enrich my life far more than they ever impoverished my bank account!”
It was love at first solo. "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. " ~ Leonardo da Vinci
She grew up with an aviation background. Her father was a pilot. First for the Kenyan Airforce and then for the national carrier. She wasn’t always sure what she wanted to do which is how she ended up with a degree in economics. It all came together for her though when she came back from studying in South Africa. Her dad was the captain on the flight. That flight changed the entire course of her life. She wanted to be up there, with him. She got accepted into flying school at Wilson airport which ironically is also called Ninety Nines. It was all new and touch and go at first but it came full circle when she flew for the very first time by herself. It was love at first solo. She hasn’t looked back since. She has gone from training on a Cessna 172 to flying a bombardier next gen Q400 and in the last few weeks she attained her ATPL. What she learnt and is still learning from her experience is that where there is a will, there will always be a way.
A pioneer in the aviation history of Malawi. Veronica was the first female pilot of Malawi in 1992 she flew for Air Malawi. She was the first female presidential pilot of Malawi. She is currently a sim Instructor / Examiner TRE of the A320, A330 & A350.
Veronica has an aviation training company called GreenDot Aviation owned by herself, her husband (Mladen Zunic) and Luke Fleming.
The company provides high quality training to airbus pilots. It is an EASA ATO (European Aviation Safety Agency Approved Training Organization).GreenDot Aviation have trained a large number of airlines in Asia. Some of them are: Bangkok Airway, Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Cargo, Bamboo Airlines to name a few.