- As a little girl, Mandisa Mfeka watched in awe as from the back seat of her mom's car as planes took off
- The young woman went on to chase her dreams and become a pilot
- Today Mfeka is the country's first black female combat pilot
Mandisa Mfeka fell in love with aeroplanes from a young age and she decided to reach for her dreams.
Today she is known as Major Mandisa Mfeka, South Africa's first black female combat pilot in the National Air Force.
Mfeka, who hails from Durban, said she was first fascinated by planes at the age of five. She said her grandmother and mom would take her to see the air shows at the Virginia Airport.
"We would park at the side of the airport and watch the planes take off. It was all very exciting,” she said.
IOL reported that Mfeka initially decided to pursue a career in medicine, however, she realised it was her dad's dream for her to become a doctor, not her own.
Mfeka then decided to take a look at careers in maths and science. Briefly.co.za learned her uncle brought home a book about careers in those fields and Mfeka spotted a recruitment article by the South African Air Force.
Because her grades were really good, Mfeka fulfilled all the requirements by the SA Air Force and she decided to give it a shot.
“From the moment I discovered the air force, I knew that is what I wanted to do. I have not looked back since," she said.
In 2011, Mfeka earned her wings, three-years after she joined the SAAF - where she is now a combat pilot.
However, the determined pilot believes her current position is just the beginning for her and she is planning on flying even higher.
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