Flying high in pursuit of a dream
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.