Sakhile Nyoni: Zimbabwe woman makes Botswana aviation history

 A Zimbabwean woman made aviation history early this month in Botswana, becoming the first female to be appointed general manager of state-owned Air Botswana. We missed this wonderful story but here we have the privilege of featuring it on Flight Africa Blog:

History-making is not strange for Ms Sakhile Nyoni because in 1988, she became Air Botswana's first female pilot, and gradually rose to her present managerial position.

"I am humbled by the fact that the government through the board that appointed me gave me the opportunity to be general manager of Air Botswana," she said.

Air Botswana General Manager Sakhile Nyoni
"I am also happy that once again I made history in the aviation industry of Botswana. There are challenges here and there but I believe challenges are part of the solutions," Nyoni said.

She added:  “I was the first female pilot of Air Botswana and one of the very few experienced women in the aviation industry of Africa. It’s always nice to make history and I hope I have and will continue to inspire young women to take up this noble profession so that we can increase in numbers.

“I think that at the moment there are few women pilots in Africa and the world over because of the perception that it’s a tough job which needs masculinity, which is not the case. Anyone can succeed in this career as long as they work hard and are determined to make it.”

Nyoni was born in Bulawayo and moved to Botswana when she was very young. She said she always loved flying.

“I don’t think there is anyone or anything that inspired me to be a pilot but the love for aeroplanes came from the fact I grew up watching them shortly after take off and just before landing as we used to stay near the airport village where I grew up."

“I found them (planes) intriguing and as I grew older I started reading about aviation and planes but it was just out of interest and nothing else. The interest grew further after my first flight when I was 16 because it was just exciting to be up in the air. But I guess as fate would have it, I ended up pursuing a career as a pilot.”

Nyoni said although she was now the boss she still took to the skies.

“I have to keep my licence valid and the only way to do that is to fly regularly which I did recently. I may not fly quite often but now and again I will be doing that."

"And besides I still have a dream to fly a long flight, like from Africa to Europe or any other continent so my days of being a pilot are not over yet.”



Though Zimbabwean, Nyoni has lived in Botswana most of her life.

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1 Response
  1. Since life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better.


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