By Prudence Minayo
Precious Sibalo’s journey to becoming a pilot was marred with a lot of obstacles. She had to work hard and give it her all to chase this dream. Working as a waitress, she knew it was just a stepping stone to a better life.
Here is the story of Precious Sibalo as told by WoK.
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Precious mother had her when she only 17-years-old. She was brought up by her grandparents in Magwegwe, Bulawayo in Zimbabwe where she also schooled.
As a young girl, she saw pilots during a school trip to the airport and her ambition to become one was birthed here. She also discovered that most of the pilots were male and this further fuelled her ambition.
This dream came to a sudden halt after she became pregnant at the age of 17. Around the same time, she also lost her mother hence she had to take up responsibility for her family.
The teen mother relocated to South Africa where she secured employment as a waitress and also worked part time as a model. She got the opportunity to move to Dubai where she continued working as a waitress.
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“In South Africa while I was working as a waitress, I worked with excellence. When I was there, customers would see potential in me because I was very optimistic, very jovial person because I believe in the power of the mind,” she was quoted by Women Power Africa.
Qatar Airways and becoming a Pilot
After three months in Dubai, Sibalo got the chance to work as a cabin crew for Qatar Airways, a job that put her in the path to achieving her dream.
“While I was in Dubai I applied for a job at Qatar Airways. Among my six friends who applied for the job, I was the one who was chosen for a job of an air hostess and I moved to Qatar Airways. I worked for five years at Qatar Airways while I was saving money to become a Pilot which was my childhood dream,” said Sibalo.
After years with the airline, she had the chance to get promoted to senior cabin crew member. However, she chose to follow her childhood dream and instead joined aviation school in 2017. With the help of family and friends, she was able to save enough money for pilot training.
Today, the former waitress has an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), the highest level of Aircraft Pilot Licence in the world. She received it from 43 Air School in South Africa. As she continues to work on her Flight Instructors rating and building her hours in South Africa, her dream is to one day work as a pilot for Qatar Airways.
Precious Sibalo encouraged people never to give up on their dreams. They should also not discriminate jobs but use them as a stepping stone towards achieving their dreams.
“Some people will always say ‘I will never take this job’. No, take it and use it as a stepping stone. Work with excellence and cultivate your knowledge because knowledge is power. The some waitress job, took me to Dubai and paved a way for my job at Qatar Airways,” she was quoted by Women Power Africa.