Asnath Mahapa who broke barriers by becoming the first African female pilot in South Africa is the special guest on this week’s edition of CNN’s African Voices sponsored by fully integrated telecommunications company, Globacom.
The South African pilot will tell her inspirational story on the programme which will be aired on CNN at 9.30 a.m. on Friday. Viewers can also watch the repeat editions at 3.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. on Saturday and at 11.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. on Sunday. Further repeats come up at 10:30 a.m. on Monday and 4.30 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to Mahapa, following her dream meant defying her father to take to the skies. “When I told my father I wanted to become a pilot, he never even entertained the idea”, she explained, adding that she did not give up.
“It just dawned on me that those big things that we see in the skies, someone is actually in charge of them,” she tells CNN. “I thought if someone can fly this thing that means I can also do it.”
In 1998, she realized her dream and became the first female African pilot. Mahapa was not content with just breaking barriers; she wanted to train and inspire a new generation of pilots. In 2012, she opened the African College of Aviation to help women who aspire to become pilots.
Also featuring on the programme is another pilot, a Kenyan called Michael Purchase. A conservationist working to protect the earth’s most precious treasures, Purchase combines his passion for flying with his love for wildlife and the environment. He will also talk about his work as a Conservation Officer at Loisaba Conservancy in Laikipia in the northern part of Kenya.