Semakaleng Mathebula followed her honours degree from Wits University with a formal qualification from the Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa. She became the country’s first black woman hot air balloon pilot.
The Midrand resident’s perspective on her career path is grounded in the change she envisions for the local aviation sector. Mathebula hopes to pave the way for greater diversity and inclusivity in the industry by inspiring others to follow their passions in the face of difficult social realities. “Ballooning is the art of acceptance; it is only when you let go that the natural path destined for you becomes much clearer,” she says.
Mathebula wants to increase the visibility of her sport and is making strides towards achieving this goal. Her achievements have made international news — she’s been featured on Reuters and CNN’s African Voices: Changemakers.
“Do not shy away from the road less travelled.”