- Fatima Jakoet is South Africa's first Muslim woman to fly commercial airliners
- She achieved this feat in 2005 despite being viewed suspiciously as a Muslim woman after 9/11
- She is also the founder of Sakhikamva, a nonprofit organisation that helps kids from disadvantaged backgrounds
In 2005, Fatima Jakoet made history by becoming South Africa's first Muslim woman to fly commercial airliners.
She previously worked as a toxicologist and narcotics specialist at an airport, Beautiful News reports.
Fatima soon developed a fascination with planes, especially Boeing 747. She then decided that she wanted to fly planes, not simply watch them land and take off.
A determined Fatima joined BAE Flight Training College in Australia, where she passed all her courses with distinctions. She took to the skies as a qualified pilot in 2005.
However, it wasn't always easy for her as a Muslim woman just a few years after the 9/11 attacks. Fatima explained:
It was very challenging being under a magnifying glass as a Muslim woman, to understand how other people view me and question my ability.
Nevertheless, this pushed Fatima to work even harder. She has now established herself in the aviation industry.
She's also the founder of Sakhikamva Foundation, Briefly.co.za gathered. It's a nonprofit organisation that has helped over 50,000 kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. Fatima said:
The opportunities for our youths are very limited. That is why the Foundation is there to expose our youths to the aviation industry and to stimulate their innovation because they are the future of this industry.
My hope is that I inspire a generation of young aviators and aerospace professionals.
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