Last year, 19 year-old Besa Mumba, became Zambia’s youngest commercial pilot, an achievement which was widely celebrated across the continent. Fast-forward six months, Zambia is celebrating yet another remarkable accomplishment, as 24-year-old Second Lieutenant Thokozile Muwamba becomes the country’s first female fighter pilot.

Lt Muwamba joined the military in 2012, and she was selected as part of a Zambian Air Forces (ZAF) program to train female pilots to address the gender imbalance in the industry.

Lt Muwamba’s achievement effectively shatters the country’s air force glass ceiling, and the historic feat will undoubtedly inspire young girls and women in Zambia, and indeed across the continent to follow their dreams, and reach for their goals.

“The sky is not the limit” Besa Mumba says. Photo: Proflight Zambia

“The sky is not the limit” Besa Mumba says. Photo: Proflight Zambia

Commenting on the historic achievement, Brigadier-General Dan Chilufya Kapungwe, commander of the ZAF base in Mumbwa, said Lt Muwamba’s accomplishment as the first female fighter pilot in the country indicates that women are progressing, and the air force is committed to supporting women in the force.

“We want to see more women in the country become fighter pilots in future,” Kapungwe told the Times of Zambia.

Lt Muwamba has worked hard to achieve her goals, and she has proven that women can have as much of a chance as men, and through hard-work, and determination achieve greatness.

“Women should begin to participate and realise their abilities. Because of this understanding, I am ready to undertake this task ahead of me,” Muwamba told the Times of Zambia.

Lt Muwamba’s remarkable accomplishment is being shared and celebrated across various social media platforms.