Commercial pilot Boitumelo Katisi got her pilot’s license at the end of 2018 and became a recipient for the Outstanding Contribution to Aviation in South Africa award at the Civil Aviation Industry Awards a year later. On her birthday, she hosted the first aviation career expo ever in Soweto for over 1 000 kids, giving them an opportunity to gain exposure to aviation and the different careers in the field.
“I want to see kids from previously disadvantaged backgrounds dreaming bigger than their circumstances and getting exposed to careers they think are out of their reach. Our youth deserve to follow their passion too, and not just certain career paths or jobs where the money is the only motivation and they are working for survival,” she says.
She also hopes to encourage them to prioritise education, as it’s the key to a better future, but also to give back to their communities once they make it.
Katisi’s own career had quite an unusual start — her friend won her a R290 000 sponsorship to do her flight training on a radio show. She had called in to say her Christmas wish would be her friend Boitumelo Katisi getting the finance to do flight training, and that wish was selected as the winner. So she knows from her own experience that even the biggest dreams are possible when you believe in yourself and have support from your community. She is also constantly manifesting the future she is working towards. “My room is my vision board — the first things I see when I open my eyes are all the posters of private jets that I want to own and aircraft models — those dreams are what keep me going,” she says.