- Sipho's dream of becoming a pilot goes back to his childhood
- He finally realised it in 2014 through sheer determination
- His first passengers were his parents
As a young pilot, 26-year-old Sipho Mangesi is living his childhood dream. However, it didn't come easy at all.
Speaking to Sowetan Live, the aviator from Ngqamakhwe in the Eastern Cape said his parents instilled self-belief in him from a young age. He said:
They made me believe that all things are possible. I learnt to write my name in the sand because back then we never had stationery and proper facilities.
His dream almost faded away, however, because of lack of information and limited financial resources.
Fortunately, he said his parents did all they could to see him through his studies at Border Aviation Flying School. The Eastern Cape department of transport also chipped in.
Sipho finally achieved his dream in 2014 after several delays occasioned by lack of fees. He said:
My first flight as pilot in command in 2014 was more than what I had imagined. It was made special and sentimental by my very first passengers, my parents.
I cannot explain the joy this brought to my heart. It's a moment I will forever cherish.
He teamed up with a friend, Derek Nseko, to start iFly, a company through which they conduct aviation awareness initiatives.
They are especially keen on accelerating transformation in the industry:
Our mission is to bridge critical gaps through various programmes and initiatives. We are conducting skills development, identifying the next generation of aviators, engineers and industry leaders.
Sipho also gives 15-minute rides to young children who have never flown before in a bid to nurture their dreams.
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