Boitumelo Katisi, the young pilot from Soweto will spend her birthday hosting a career day for learners who dream of working in aviation

Pilot Boitumelo (Tumi) Katisi poses during an interview at Wonderboom Airport
Pilot Boitumelo (Tumi) Katisi poses during an interview at Wonderboom Airport

After seeing her story going viral in November 2018 via Humans of New York’s Facebook page, pilot Boitumelo Katisi has made strides to give back her to her community in Soweto. 

Her current project is hosting a career day for children who would like to pursue career in aviation, like she did. This, under the Aviation Development in Africa (ADA) non-profit organisation she founded with her colleague Joseph Lebitsa.

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In her profile with Humans of New York, Boitumelo says: “My plan is to fly for South African Airlines, but first I want to do some teaching. I want to visit schools in black neighbourhoods. I want all the kids to see what an African female pilot looks like.”

Coming full circle, Boitumelo is using social media to rally support for the cause. Rallying universities, companies, community leaders and even the president in efforts create awareness and help acquire sponsorship for children aspiring to work in aviation but can't afford.

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So on 27 April 2019, Boitumelo will host ADA’s very first aviation career expo in for learners from townships including Soweto, Alexandra, Tembisa, East and West Rand called #EveryBarHasAStory – and the date of the event is particularly significant.

In a tweet she says: “As my birthday celebration I chose to give back to my community in Soweto and bring Aviation to Previously disadvantaged individuals in townships as I’m a commercial pilot from Pimville, Soweto.”

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Speaking to the Daily Dispatch, Boitumelo says at the event they will have stalls for different company where the learners can collect the required information on bursaries and they will have a flight simulator “so they get the feel of how it feels to actually fly a plane or helicopter”.

Boitumelo’s organisation hopes to host 1 500 learners for the career day.

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