Mdantsane Pilot flies high to live out his dream

A private pilot from Mdantsane, Andisiwe Mngqolo, 26, harboured ambitions from an early age to be a pilot one day now he is living his dream.

Mngqolo said his journey to becoming a pilot  began  when his mother took out a loan of R30,000 that  saw him admitted as a trainee  at the Border Aviation Club and Flight School.

FLYING HIGH: Andisiwe Mngqolo, 26, of Mdantsane has overcome many challenges to achieve his dream of becoming a pilot Picture: SUPPLIED

“I have always wanted to fly. I always wanted to do something different from the normal routine of many black kids who play it safe and  follow the normal courses at university. I   always wanted to break free from that route and so my dream to fly was born and it has since grown and matured perfectly ,” the pilot said.

Although  having the responsibility of keeping  safe  the lives of passengers during flights can be a scary one, Mngqolo said  a simple prayer before each flight for guidance kept him going.

Mngqolo  private pilot counts lack of mentorship within the industry   among one of the   challenges facing pilots.

“One particular challenge I’ve experienced as a black pilot,  is that we lack mentorship from pilots within our ethnic group. This particular field is  still white  dominated and  prices for studying  don’t do much justice for a young black child who  has high ambitions  to fly,” he said.

“Other than that, I’ve also had people from my community tell me  that I’d never make it and that my dreams were too big.”

Businessman Sisa Ngebulana and his cousin, Anele Mabi are some of his biggest inspirations.

“Mr Ngebulana, for his humble beginnings to building an empire. Mr Mabi for constantly pushing me to do better with my life and never giving up on seeing me do better is what has helped me turn my life around,” he said.

Mngqolo would also love to fly abroad  to more  luxurious destinations for the experience as well as the sight-seeing.

“The most important lesson I’ve learnt on this journey is that your life, your goals, your aspirations, and deepest desires are in your hands. Pray to God, get up, and get it done  – nothing is beyond anyone,” he advised young people who wanted to achieve goals.

“It is people like Andisiwe, who have raw passion coupled with the correct attitude and a solid belief system, who succeed in the field of professional aviation,” Border Aviation treasurer, Rob Williamson said.

“He has drawn inspiration from others and has made it happen despite the various challenges faced along the path to becoming a pilot,” he said.


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