Meet Mzansi Woman Making History as First Female Pilot to Lead Presidential Flyover

Meet Mzansi Woman Making History as First Female Pilot to Lead Presidential Flyover

  • A 39-year-old mother broke barriers and made history in South Africa after leading helicopters during the presidential inauguration
  • The lady who is a pilot instructor at a flying school expressed what it was like being the leader of such a significant day
  • Social media users reacted to the woman's story as they took to the comments section to shower her with compliments

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Meet the first female pilot to lead a presidential flyover during the inauguration.
Meet the Mzansi woman who made history as the first female pilot to lead a presidential flyover. Image: Zanele Nosisa Vayeke
Source: Facebook

Lt-Col Zanele Vayeka-Shabangu made history by becoming the first woman pilot to lead during President Cyril Ramaphosa's second presidential inauguration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday, June 20.

Meet Zanele Vayeka, the first female pilot to lead a presidential flyover

According to the Sowetanlive, Vayeka-Shabangu is a helicopter commander and pilot instructor at the 87 Helicopter Flying School based in Bloemfontein, Free State. The South African Air Force operates the school as a unit.

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While speaking to the publication, the pilot instructor raved about the spectacular moment that many heads of state had the privilege of seeing. She expressed that it took days to practice so they could perfect the scene, and although she was "nervous," she was proud of herself in the end.

“The fact that I did what I needed to do today stood out for me,” Vayeke-Shabangu said to the Sowetan.

Mzansi is proud of the woman's achievement

Many people loved the fantastic performance, which Vayeka-Shabangu led, as they flocked to the comments section with congratulatory messages.

Pertunia Chrissy Mankgane said:

"Yes! I love this fly high Col."

Solomon Kganyane Kodisang added:


Gloria Jezile was impressed:

"When a woman breaks new grounds, we all do congrats, cc."

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Nomsa Masango was proud:

"That's my sister right there. Congratulations Sis."

Meet the first black female PhD in applied data science

Briefly News previously reported that a young woman is changing the narratives after being named the black female recipient of PhD in Applied Data Science from the University of Johannesburg.

According to the University of Johannesburg News, Khensani Xivuri graduated from the institution in 2024 with flying colours. The woman obtained a PhD in Applied Data Science from the university.

Source: Briefly News

Johana Mukandila avatar

Johana Mukandila (Editor) Johana Tshidibi Mukandila has been a Human Interest Reporter at Briefly News since 2023. She holds a national diploma in journalism from the Cape Peninsula University Of Technology (2023). She has worked at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, PAICTA, BONA Magazine and Albella Music Production. She is currently furthering her education in journalism at the CPUT. She has passed a set of trainings from Google News Initiative. Reach her at