Conversations with Trailblazing Women of Africa

This series showcases and promotes pioneering women entrepreneurs, pilots program managers and professionals across Africa

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Our video series “Trailblazing Women of Africa” aims to raise awareness of the roles being played by women in the African drone industry and help inspire others to consider a career or entrepreneurial opportunities in this industry

Itumeleng Mokoena – South Africa     

Itumeleng defines herself as a dreamer, believer, pilot, artist, and lover. She is a licensed RPAS pilot and has completed over 200 flight hours within the commercial drone industry. Furthermore, she is a licensed RPAS instructor on both multirotor and fixed wing drones. She is also a certified RPAS Maintenance Technician.

Outside of the aviation space, she holds a Non-Destructive Testing Diploma and a BTech in Business Administration. She is also the Founder of Drone Pilot Network, a group which aims to assist people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to get into the drone space in South Africa. Itumeleng is also the Operations Manager for Parthenius Air, a licensed ROC holder within the Republic of South Africa.

Anne Nderitu – Kenya   

Anne Nderitu is a trained aerospace engineer and the COO of Kenya Flying Labs. In 2020, Anne had an opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Malawi to build and operate drones for humanitarian purposes. She is a licensed drone pilot and TOP Level 2 certified drone operator. Anne was honored to be named as a Woman to Watch 2020 by Women and Drones.

Anne is am passionate about drones because of the impact they are making in the lives of many communities.  She believes Africa is on the right track to leveraging technology and creating a better Africa for all.

Anne is also the founder of The Girls Boardroom Foundation. The Foundation mentors and inspires women to become leaders of society.

Diana Banda – Zimbabwe 

Diana Banda is a drone enthusiast and the Communications Lead for the newly established Zimbabwe Flying Labs.

She was involved in the first ever Drone Racing Zimbabwe Community where she helped to organize the ‘meet-ups’ and raise awareness about the value of the drone industry for attendees who were learning about the industry for the first time. Diana is also part of the Community Outreach team that educates girls about drone technology.

Zimbabwe Flying Labs 

Lebbohang Lebogo, South Africa   

Lebohang Lebogo, was born and raised in Kagiso Township.  In 2010, she graduated top of her faculty in International Travel at College Campus. She joined South African National Blood Services (SANBS) in 2011 as a Trainee Medical Technician and now works as a Technical Support Officer for the Processing and Issuing Division. She is part of the SANBS Millennial Board, which is aimed at grooming young talent with the potential to become future leaders within the organization.

Lebo is currently training towards obtaining her Private Pilot license at the Africa Aviation Academy at Rand Airport, and has obtained her BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone license as part of her role in being the first drone pilot at the SANBS where they will one day soon deliver emergency blood and blood products to rural communities where health care facilities are few and far between.

Queen Ndlovu, South Africa   

Ms Ndlovu is a serial entrepreneur who has been in business for more than 23 years. Ms Ndlovu founded and co-founded various Artisan Colleges, a Management Consultancy and a Dry Cleaning and Laundry business. Ms Ndlovu has a Masters’ degree in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation from Wits business school, and a post Masters’ qualification from Peking Business School, China.

A Keynote Speaker at various institutions such as Oprah School of Girls, and a Guest Lecturer at various Business Schools. She is currently a Chairperson for Academic Advisory Board: Entrepreneurship Department at Tshwane University of Technology.

She is a Deputy President of African Alliance of YMCAs to spearhead social enterprise as to drive social innovation, social impact, and sustainability amongst the youth.

Ms Ndlovu is currently a CEO and Co-Founder of QP Drone Tech, a partner in maritime business and energy business. A top finalist by South African Tech Innovation Summit (2020).

Kim James – South Africa

Kim spent over 20 years in the investment banking industry in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates. She has a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Middlesex University and is a Chartered HR Professional of the SA Board of People Practices. Kim is now fortunate enough to be using her global experience gained in a highly regulated and structured industry, in the aviation field back in South Africa.

Kim is a Director of the SACAA-certified drone operation, UAV Aerial Works and the company’s drone security brand, Drone Guards, as well as the regulatory Safety and Security post holder for UAV Aerial Works.

Aviation is her second career and passion, and among her latest achievements, a chapter in a co-authored Amazon #1 best seller, “Drone Professional 1”. Kim is also currently an Executive Committee member of CUAASA – the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa.

Zethu Gumede – South Africa  

Occupation: Air Traffic Service Officer at OR Tambo International Airport

Qualifications: BSc Environmental Science (UKZN), BSc Honours (WITS)

Affiliations: Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD-NC)

Interests: Aviation, STEM, Drone Technology & Environmental Issues

Volunteering Experience: Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA); Greenpeace and Girls Fly Program Africa (GFPA)

More interviews coming soon!

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