At Qdai we make a point of scouting the world for inspirational women. This week takes us to South Africa where Major Mandisa Mfeka has recently become the first black female fighter pilot in the South African Air force.
In watching interviews of her I am struck by both her optimism and the significance of one moment in her life where she realized her dream was actually a possibility. She always admired aviation but did not think “a girl like me” could ever become a pilot.
Once she realized her dream to fly was possible, she put her head down and worked tirelessly to make it to the top, with a smile on her face! I am drawn to her independent positivity and charisma. Her message is that where you come from should not dictate where you are going, and that hard work and vision can take you to any heights, literally. Qdai is similarly determined, to offer practical clothes to women like Mandisa who need their hands free to change the world!
Her success doesn’t stop there; Mandisa has also started an empowerment program called Winged Spanner which teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurship to fellow South Africans. “The sky is the baseline” tagline encourages people to re-evaluate their limits and she has been quoted saying “We are ‘MULTI-POTENTIALITIES’ of the 21st century, unlimited beings. We no longer have to develop and focus only on one skill! Go on and explore them all!”
The first woman to take flight in Africa date back to the beginning of aviation. Audrey Fiander was the first woman to get a pilot’s license in Rhodesia in 1929, and Phyllis Doreen Hooper the first South African woman to get a pilot’s license in 1935! I wonder if they took the skies in a functional dress with pockets?