- Remofilwe Mathebula has taken her career to new heights after qualifying as South Africa’s first hot air balloon pilot.
- South Africans are loving the news and took to various social media platforms to praise her achievements.
- Ms Mathebula is passionate about aviation and encouraged the youth to get involved and find their wings.
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Remofilwe Mathebula is soaring the skies as SA's first air balloon pilot. South Africans are loving the news and took to social media to praise her achievements.
One impressed person said: “When black people take a stand, they will impress you for days.”
Ms Mathebula got a shoutout from the Pretoria High School for Girls Old Girls' Association:
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"Congratulations to Old Girl Semakaleng Remofilwe Mathebula (matric 2013) who has become the first black female hot air balloon pilot in South Africa.”
Reacting to the news, one social media user said:
“Remo moving differently. Congratulations, fam.”
Fellow pilot Andreas Steyn said:
“So proud of you Sema! Welcome to the skies, and may you have many safe flying hours. So glad to have been a part of your journey, we know you are going to do great things for ballooning.”
Remo thanked him for being part of her “amazing journey”:
“Don’t run just yet Mr Co-Pilot, we still have a lot of early mornings and flights ahead of us. I will try and bring coffee this time.”
Media 24 reported that Ms Mathebula, affectionately known as Remo, fell in love with hot air ballooning when she started working as a marketing assistant at a hot air balloon company.
The report states her love for the sport was catalysed when she attended the 2018 Afrox South African Hot Air Balloon Championships.
Ms Mathebula of Pretoria holds an Honours in International Relations and Politics from the University of Witwatersrand.
In the report, Ms Mathebula said:
“There is something very special about ballooning, whether experiencing it as a spectator, or a passenger on a balloon safari or learning how to fly; I cannot put it into words. Each step along the way drew me in deeper and the sport has provided me with structure, principle and a confidence boost.”
From cleaner to pilot: A look at the inspiring story of Nokuthula Mchunu
Briefly News also wrote about South Africa's high unemployment rate, which paints a murky picture as the nation strives to create opportunities for the young. Getting a job in these trying times is as difficult as completing the Comrades Marathon.
The only job they could offer her was as a cleaner, so she took up the position without knowing that it would signal the beginning of the rest of her life.
"You know an unemployed person will always be thankful when he/she lands any job type. I was grateful when I was hired as a cleaner and little did I know that job would mark the beginning of the rest of my life," she said.
While cleaning and mopping the tiles of Durban International Airport, Mchunu fell in love with aviation. The thrill of watching aeroplanes landing and departing was just too much for her.
Source: Briefly News