Born in December 1996, Besa Mumba has gained headlines as the youngest female commercial pilot in Africa, after landing a pilot position with Zambia’s national airline, Proflight Zambia, breaking the all-time record of Kalenga Kamwendo who became the nation’s youngest pilot last year at 20.
Mumba, 19, exudes much verve in the predominantly male profession with an achievement of flying more than five hours on the airline’s Caravan aircraft since her historic appointment as a first officer in July.
Chasing her dream to be a commercial pilot, Mumba enrolled in the South African Flight Training Academy in Hiedelberg immediately after high school in 2013. Her journey was cut short, though, after she took on more complex training at SIMU Flight in Pretoria to obtain her commercial pilots licence at the tender age of 18. Now as a co-pilot with Proflight Zambia, Mumba reveals that she “feels at home in the skies.”
Surprisingly enough, one would have thought that all the young lady had in mind was to be a pilot but that was actually never her ultimate goal.
“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,” Mumba revealed to Proflight Zambia.
With Mumba’s accomplishment, she joins the league 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.
Watch Mumba soar here: