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Major Flora Selemani-Ngwilinji’s inspirational story

Late Ngwilinji, who is being laid to rest with military honours at Mangunda, in Traditional Authority Nanseta in Thyolo District today, leaves behind a story of a woman who followed her heart to realise her dreams.

She was a distinctive illustration of someone so determined to thrive in a male-led field by becoming a commercial pilot.

Excerpts from an interview she granted The Nation in 2013 tell that having finished her military training, she proceeded to work as a presidential air hostess.

But late Selemani-Ngwilinji realised that the cabin was not enough, she wanted to be in the cockpit.

“It’s the desire to fly that motivated me to consider flying and seeing Felistas Mkandawire flying a Boeing also motivated me. I know it is a male-dominated industry but I kept telling myself that I can also fly an aircraft.

There is nothing impossible as long as you believe,” she said.

That is why the late Major Selemani-Ngwilinji did three-year flight lessons at the Grand Central Airport in Midrands in South Africa.

She obtained a commercial pilot licence.

The soldier added that she was eligible to fly in the military with her commercial pilot licence.

Late Ngwilinji’s determination to reach greater heights did not go unnoticed.

Around 2019 the Malawi Institute of Education published a bio of the fallen Army Major, aimed at encouraging girls in their pursuit of a better future.

She registered at Malawi Armed Forces College of the Malawi Defence Force in Salima in 1999.

 

By Kondwani Chinele

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