5 facts to know about the first woman officer in Africa to navigate a submarine

Lieutenant Gillian Malouw. Photo by YOU Magazine
Lieutenant Gillian Malouw. Photo by YOU Magazine
  • Lieutenant Gillian Malouw was born and raised in Schauderville, Port Elizabeth.
  • In Grade 7, she joined the sea cadets and was a member until Grade 12.
  • She is training to be a captain of a submarine one day. 

As the world has progressed, young girls have had the ability to look up to a wide variety of role models in a plethora of professions. Increasingly, women are dominating a number of careers that were previously reserved for men.

It cannot be said enough how representation matters - from Saray Khumalo being the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest, to the first black woman deputy vice chancellor at Rhodes University, to the first female Draught Master  - just to name a few among many. Now the world finally knows a woman who is an officer that navigates a submarine. Africa’s first.

READ MORE: 5 things to know about the first black woman deputy vice chancellor at Rhodes University

Lieutenant Gillian Malouw is focused on her career in what can be interpreted as laser-focus. She is gunning for the higher echelons of her field, and this is why your should know her name.

These are five facts you ought to know about the boundary-breaking lieutenant:

1. Gillian matriculated in 2007, already knowing she wanted to sail ships. A couple of years later, she was accepted into the navy after being persistent and dedicated to her goal.

She tells YOU Magazine: “I told myself these people had to accept me, no matter what. I didn’t want to study further – all I wanted to do was to sail ships.” 

READ MORE: Emeli Sandé as the new chancellor of Sunderland University reminds us that it's never too late to enter into a new industry

2. She joined the sea cadets when she was in Grade 7 and was a member until she completed her matric.

3. After completing her officer’s training, Gillian attended the SA Military Academy in Saldanha Bay – which led her to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in technology and defence management.

4. She was born and raised in Schauderville, Port Elizabeth, and did her basic training in Saldanha Bay, Western Cape.

5. Gillian has hopes of becoming a captain of a submarine one day. She's pursuing training that will eventually make her eligible for this role.

SOURCES: YOU Magazine, Cape Talk, IOL.

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