Nandi Zama has been flying the C-130 Military Cargo Plane for four years and has officially made history because she is now a commander which is the equivalent of a civilian captain. She has made history as the first black woman to fly the C-130 (as a commander) and she is only 31!
“If there’s a mission and she needs to take the aircraft‚ she needs to assemble a team that includes specialists on board. The plane can take up to 160 people.” – Lieutenant Colonel Ntsikelelo Mantshongo, SA National Defence Force spokesperson
Lieutenant Colonel Ntsikelelo Mantshongo believes that Nandi Zama is worthy of the major responsibility of commanding the four-engine military plane C-130.
Nandi made her maiden journey on Friday 24 March 2017, flying the C-130 from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Waterkloof Air Force base in Gauteng, South Africa.
She has worked very hard to get where she is and is due every credit that comes her way. Nandi joined the military in 2004 right out of high school. She had a year of military training, followed by aerodynamic ground school. In 2006 she received her wings after attending central flying school, and in 2007 she was transferred to 41 Squadron. She is now in the 28 Squadron.
“Flying the plane is not something you can explain in words. You just have to be there to experience it,”
“I find it very engaging! It’s a very interesting job with a lot of challenges, but always challenges that are enjoyable to try and meet, and obtain those goals” – Nandi Zama
This is a massive achievement and we salute Nandi for following her dreams! We even have an interview with Nandi from 2013 for you to enjoy, you can see how passionate she is about her job.