Anele Nala is young, talented, determined and focused. And, although she is new to the industry her future is bright. She represents the future of aviation.

What did you do prior to coming into the industry?

I completed high school and decided to pursue my interest in the aviation industry. I had first wanted to be an Aircraft Mechanic but later chose Piloting. I faced a lot of challenges from funding my PPL, to feeling like I do not belong to the industry entirely and having doubts about my choices Nevertheless I was very resilient, had burning faith in myself and I had completely fell in love with flying. I worked very hard and after two years I completed my PPL. It was the biggest achievement thus far in my life and I was only 19 years. I was very proud of myself. God was with me.

Industry Experience

How did you get started in the drone industry?

After completing my PPL, I got an amazing scholarship opportunity through a government organization TETA to fund my Remote Pilot License. I successfully submitted my application and started with classes for my exams and training. It was a short course because I had prior experience and knowledge. Drone flying was the most thrilling and exciting. However, we did not get a lot of flight training in because of a lot of reasons that I do not care to explain, it was disappointing. I was able to pass my examination and test flights and I received my RPL. I was very happy and ready for the new adventure of flying drones.

Tell us about your current organization

At the moment I have a part time student job that is outside of the aviation industry. I have not been able to secure work and mostly because I have low hours and I am a bit inexperienced for the job.

Tell us about your current role in the industry

I am new to the industry, I still growing and learning with so much more to know and do.

What do you like most about being in the industry?

I have great fondness for flying drones. It is really is an great adventure. I love the tech and innovation it is breeding into the aviation industry. The industry is working with well different established companies and sectors, I love how multifarious and diverse it is. I also love the networking community that the industry has, the support is enormous.

What’s your favorite type of project and why?

I have not had the pleasure to work in any type of project, but I will say the film and agriculture drone industries are the most attracting to me. I’m crossing my fingers that I will have an opportunities in one or both of industries.

What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?

I trained with the most qualified women pilots, who were flying for my country’s airline, SAA. The scholarship organizers were also intentionally recruiting women to get them qualified. This sparked the notion that the drone industry is not discriminatory towards women but wants to impact and increase the number of women working in drones. It is really comforting and reminds you that you can do it as much as a man.

What’s your current favorite drone to fly?

DJI Phantom 4 and the DJI Tello

What You’ve Learned

What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry?

Networking and joining an organization is crucial. I was the most introverted and would find it difficult conversing with others. However, I found it not only helpful for your career but also liberating to have a community that can help when seeking advice, learning and be on tune for the latest information.

What have you learned you wish you had known when you got started?

That I need to harness my own skills on my own time. Purchasing a drone is very advantageous an could be a major step up and learning resource towards my career.

Any suggestions for other women entering the industry?

Go for it, there are difficulties that you will face but they are just stumbling blocks that you can conquer. You should never give up. If you have love and passion for something, succeeding is always going to be the result. Sometimes plans fail but the purpose remains, and it will motivate you to keep on going.