- Tumi Carter Katisi is a young pilot based in Johannesburg
- She shared how she became a pilot against all odds on Humans of New York's Facebook page
- Her story has gone viral, inspiring thousands of people across the world
A young lady based in Johannesburg has inspired thousands across the world with her story of how she became a pilot against all odds.
Tumi Carter Katisi shared her uplifting story on Humans of New York's Facebook page yesterday, Briefly.co.za gathered.
It has gone absolutely viral, amassing an incredible 259,000 reactions, 16,000 shares, and 6,500 comments so far.
Tumi began by saying she initially wanted to be a doctor. However, when an aunt invited her to her office at South African Airlines (SAA), the pilot bug bit her.
When she turned 18 years old, she visited a flight school and applied. However, the costs were too high. Tumi's mom tried her best, but Tumi had to drop out a few times.
Determined, Tumi wrote to each and every brand she could think of to ask for sponsorships. Very few of them responded.
Fortunately, luxury watch brand Breitling sent her a brand new watch to raffle. She managed to sell over 600 raffle tickets and raised a sizeable amount of money in the process.
However, the Lottery Board ordered her to end the raffle because it was "illegal." Incredibly, when she contacted the ticket buyers to refund them, they all said she should use the money for her flight lessons.
Tumi was able to get another sponsorship from well-wishers four years ago to fund her entire education. She eventually got her pilot license in September this year.
The young and determined pilot now wants fly for SAA and to inspire as many youths as she can with her story:
My plan is to fly for South African Airlines, but first I want to do some teaching. I want to visit schools in black neighbourhoods. I want all the kids to see what an African female pilot looks like.
Social media users from all over the world applauded Tumi for achieving her dream through sheer determination. Nasya Rae wrote:
This is what happens when a village comes together to raise a child...they invested in her and now she is investing in others...the ripple effect.
Catherina Louw also said:
Proud South African! We have awesome people in our country, but we don't celebrate them enough! Thank you for sharing this story!
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