The First African Woman and Female Pilot to fly a Boeing across the Atlantic is a Nigerian.

By: Ifedayo Oshin
29 March, 2019

Column: Home & Abroad News

It is no longer a breaking news that Captain Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo is the first African and Nigerian female pilot to be employed as a pilot by the Qatar Airways; the national carrier of oil-rich Qatar. Captain Adeola’s record breaking career also registers another first of its kind for an African and Nigerian woman pilot as she also became the first woman to have flown a Boeing 787 Dreamliner across the Atlantic.

The significance of Captain Adeola’s career achievement lies in her sheer determination to break barriers especially in male dominated profession. Moreso, she is a married woman and a mother. As such, her achievement has become a source of inspiration to other African women to pursue their dreams irrespective of their circumstances, particularly in the aviation industry. 

In addition, Captain Adeola’s feat once again demonstrates the Nigerian spirit of determination and hope of achieving great things against all odds.  Adeola hails from Ogbomoso, Oyo state Nigeria. Having completed her first degree from the Ladoke Akintola University in Nigeria, she proceeded to a professional pilot training school in Ormond Beach, Florida, US where she completed her training as a private pilot.

The place of the female pilot in African socio-political context is subjective. One account has Asli Hassan Abade of Somali as the first female African pilot, trained in the 1970s and her first solo flight in 1976. Another account credited Ghanaian Millicent Melody Danquah as the first female pilot after she flew solo for the first time in a de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk aircraft in 1964. 

With her new professional status, Captain Adeola registers her name in African aviation hall of fame with the likes of her fellow compatriot, Chinyere Kalu the first Nigerian female commercial pilot, Captain Asli Hassan Abade (Somali), Captain Millicent Melody Danquah (Ghana), Captain Irene Koki Mutungi (Kenya), Captain Amsale Gulau (Ethiopia) and Captain Aluel Bol Aluenge (South Sudan).

The Nigeria Voice newspaper celebrates Captain Adeola on her career achievements and also for flying the Nigerian flag high in the skies across the world. 

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