Recently, Zambia celebrated a historic feat, as 24-year-old Second Lieutenant Thokozile Muwamba became the country’s first female fighter pilot.
In 2015 the Zambian Air Force commander Lieutenant General Eric Mwaba Chimese announced the Zambian Air Force’s intention to introduce female pilots in a bid to address issues of gender inequality in Zambia. Fast forward to January 2017 and indeed the Zambian Air Force have a success story – Thokozile Muwamba became Zambia’s first female fighter pilot.
In an interview with BBC, Thokozile opened up about her journey to becoming a history maker as Zambia’s first female fighter pilot. She revealed how she never had any intentions of becoming a fighter pilot, but was actually motivated to join the fighter squadron by her instructors who “saw potential in her.”
In another interview with the Times of Zambia, Thokozile notably emphasized that,
“Women should begin to participate and realise their abilities. Men are not a competition but counterparts that one should work with, and hence women should begin to participate and realise their abilities. Because of this understanding, I am ready to undertake this task ahead of me,”
“I look at the fact that when I am in the aeroplane, the aircraft knows no sex as it depends on my input even if I am a woman. I can also give it the right steering for it to respond correctly,” Thokozile added.
Brigadier-General Kapungwe, the commander of the Zambian Airforce Base in Mumbwa said that having Second Lieutenant Muwamba as the first female fighter pilot is a clear indication that Zambia has taken a giant step in achieving gender equality.
“Lt Muwamba has worked hard to achieve her goals, and she has proven that women can have as much of a chance as men, and through hard-work, and determination achieve greatness.”
Second Lieutenant Thokozile Muwamba dropped out of Copperbelt University to join the military.
“Impossibilities can be made possible as long as one is determined to attain one’s goal,” Thokozile advised other women.
*Yes We Can Fly*