Meet Rwanda's First Female Pilot


Normally the name Rwanda, brings back memories of the horrific civil war that happened in 1994 and led to the death of over one million Tutsi and Hutu citizens. Though the country has made huge effort to improve the situation and move forward, most people's perception of the country is still one of conflict and war.

Well, like many Rwandans that have done great things, Esther Mbabazi, 26, has become the first female pilot.

She told CNN “Growing up I wanted to be a pilot when I was four,” “I’d never been inside a cockpit but I used to see a plane in the sky and I imagined that thing must be flown by someone.”

“I had to go for it. Even though it looked like a long shot, it was my only shot — that’s how I saw it so I went for it, and here I am."

She reported that after taking a chance and buying a one-way ticket to Uganda to attend pilot school, she became a pilot for RwandAir, the nation’s national carrier, at just 24.

When I went it was a one-way decision,” she said. “If they bounce me, I’ll just pack my things and come back — so that was the way I joined pilot school, and it was a long journey.”

Despite experiencing sexism, Mbabazi hasn’t let that discourage her from living her dream.


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