“It was amazing. I felt like I was in control, do you understand?” she says, spinning round in excitement. Taking control of an aircraft was something the teenager from Soweto, a township just outside Johannesburg, had dreamed of since she was little.
She stands on the runway at Grand Central Airport and whoops with pure joy; the words of delight streaming out of her.
“Driving Zulu Sierra Papa Whiskey Whiskey (her aircraft’s call-sign) was so amazing. It was so amazing!”
The woman behind this euphoria is Refilwe Ledwaba, South Africa’s first black woman to have flown for the South African Police Service.
Besides being the country’s first black female helicopter pilot, Refilwe is also the founder of the Girl Fly Programme in Africa Foundation (GFPA) a non-profit …