Fly­ing high in pur­suit of a dream

Cape Times - - NEWS - Ni­cola Daniels ni­cola.daniels@inl.co.za

JUST a few months away from gain­ing her com­mer­cial pi­lot’s li­cence, 32-year-old Ntumeko Scott of Gugulethu is proof that no mat­ter where you come from, per­se­ver­ance can un­lock the key to your dreams.

Her dream of be­com­ing a pi­lot started when she was just six years old.

She had been at the air­port to greet rel­a­tives and be­came mes­merised by the planes that she could see through the large win­dows of a restaurant.

“It feels amaz­ing to be the first one in your fam­ily to be do­ing some­thing so amaz­ing… to wake up to a dream ev­ery sin­gle day,” said Scott.

Her dream was not achieved eas­ily, how­ever, as costs could start at R300 000 and go up to R1 mil­lion be­fore com­ple­tion. Thus the road has been a long and chal­leng­ing one.

“I stud­ied travel and tourism be­cause I thought that would be my en­try into the in­dus­try,” she said.

How­ever, upon com­plet­ing her de­gree, Scott was not sat­is­fied. She wanted to be a pi­lot and all that stood in her way was that it was very ex­pen­sive.

“One day, I was help­ing out at a lo­cal petrol sta­tion. I was called into the of­fice by the owner and there was this guy with him.

“The owner ex­plained to him that I was from the com­mu­nity and would love to pur­sue a ca­reer in avi­a­tion.

“This stranger im­me­di­ately called the school that I had elected to go to in the Eastern Cape and he gave me my first step into avi­a­tion.

“I will al­ways ap­pre­ci­ate him for that. Un­for­tu­nately, he could not keep pay­ing be­cause Gugulethu res­i­dent Ntumeko Scott, 32, is close to com­plet­ing her com­mer­cial pi­lot’s li­cence. it was very ex­pen­sive,” she said.

Her fam­ily strug­gled to make ends meet be­cause her mother was an ex-con­vict.

“I am the child of an ex-con­vict. Due to stereo­typ­ing, my mother couldn’t find a job be­cause (any ap­pli­ca­tion form)… asks one ques­tion – were you ever con­victed of a

crime? It doesn’t give enough space to give an op­por­tu­nity for that per­son to ex­plain what he or she has done since their re­lease and how they might have pos­i­tively changed their life.

“It was dif­fi­cult for my mom to get back on her feet. For­tu­nately, by God’s grace, she did and she was strong

enough to help me to com­plete my first li­cence,” she said.

For two years, Scott did not have fur­ther fund­ing, un­til she was awarded a bur­sary by the South African Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity. This has en­abled her to com­plete her com­mer­cial li­cence.

She en­cour­aged other young women to avoid limit-

ing their imag­i­na­tions and to ex­plore them­selves.

“Par­ents are the first role mod­els of a child. If your child breaks a toy, to see what that thing is that makes a noise in­side, you don’t nur­ture that – in­stead you rep­ri­mand them, think­ing of the cost of toy and you don’t look at the big­ger pic­ture that might show that my daugh­ter likes tech­nol­ogy,” she said.

“My dream and vi­sion for the girl child is that she is lis­tened to and given the plat­form and en­abling en­vi­ron­ment so she can ex­plore her­self – just like a boy is given so­cial per­mis­sion to do,” Scott said.

EX­PEN­SIVE JOUR­NEY:

NTUMEKO SCOTT

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