Esther Mbabazi was only four years-old when the idea of becoming a pilot first occurred to her. Back then, her experience of aircraft was limited to freebies she received as a child whilst on flights with her family, frequently moving her father who was a priest.
Esther Mbabazi. Photo: Facebook
“Being a pilot really was my childhood dream, I don’t think anything was going to stop it. It started when I travelled with my family and we would get the free things for kids, like the backpacks. I really liked that and I just liked to travel. The whole intrigue of this big bird in the sky, I was amazed. That and the free backpacks planted the seed.”
So even when her father passed away in a plane crash, she was undeterred. She was more resolute and when the time came, she announced her intentions – which were understandably poorly received by her family.
Now at 27, she is Rwanda’s first female pilot, having qualified three years ago. But it’s not yet easy sailing as the idea of a female pilot hasn’t fully matured with passengers. As a result, she avoids making flight announcements as this scares the passengers.
We salute you, Esther Mbabazi, may you soar higher and higher!
Esther Mbabazi
Esther Mbabazi4