Flight-Lieutenant Angelina Bosha is the first female fighter jet pilot of the Air Force of Zimbabwe. The pioneering achievement followed Bosha’s completion of a year-long training course in China in 2018. She was the only female in a class made of 14 pilots across the world.
Bosha said she was inspired to join the Air Force by the exploits of Captain Chipo Matimba, the force’s first female combat pilot in 1998. Bosha was constantly told about Matimba’s trailblazing feat by her father Andy.
“I had mixed feelings of excitement and fear I was excited to fly for the first time but scared because it was something new,” Bosha told The Herald. “After achieving this I am now living my dream. Maybe another career goal will come but for now, I think I am at a position I never imagined and the feeling is to stay there.”
The firstborn of her family, Bosha joined the Air Force in 2010 after her secondary education. She found the training arduous and felt like opting out at some point, but for the strong backing from her family, instructors, and colleagues.
“It has never been easy. I wanted to give up after basic military training but my family encouraged me to continue,” she recalled. “I want to remain an exceptional pilot, serve my country and be an inspiration to other girls and women.”
Bosha’s superiors acknowledged her determination to be the very best during her training both in Zimbabwe and China. “Flt-Lt Bosha is the first female fighter jet pilot of the Air Force of Zimbabwe. Before Flt-Lt Bosha we have never had a female pilot going to the fighter jets. What has made her unique is that she has met the grade that is required of a fighter pilot,” Group Captain Ezweni Masuku, said of her during last year’s International Women’s Day.
Capt. Masuku said Bosha did not become the Air Force’s first female fighter jet pilot because of affirmative action, but because she met the required criteria for the role.
He added: “The course has its own physiological challenges; I must say she is unique, she has made it and we will not look at her as a woman but we will look at her as a fighter pilot.”
Bosha wants to remain an exceptional pilot, serve her country, and be an inspiration to other girls and women.