At a time when most young people were learning how to drive, these young geniuses had learnt how to fly an aircraft to the admiration of many.
Through hard work and determination, these young African pilots are living their dream after their historic appointments and inspiring others to do same.
Meet the youngest commercial pilots from Africa who have already taken over the skies:
Kalenga Kamwendo – Zambia
He became Zambia’s youngest pilot at the tender age of 20 after receiving his commercial private license in 2016.
He has since joined Zambia’s Proflight’s team of pilots, operating across Zambia, as well as, Malawi as a First Officer.
Born in Kitwe in Zambia’s Copperbelt, Kamwendo has always dreamt of becoming a pilot and flying a commercial aircraft.
After graduating from secondary school in 2011, he enrolled in an air training school at Port Alfred, in Eastern Cape, South Africa in 2012.
After three months, he attained a private pilot’s licence. At just 18, he got his commercial private licence upon completion of 200 hours of flying an aircraft.
A year and nine months after he started flying Proflight Zambia, the 22-year-old clocked 1,000 hours of flying during an early morning flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe. This brought him closer to the 1,500 hours mark, at which point he can sit an exam to achieve his Senior Officer licence.
With a further 1,000 hours under his belt, he can apply to become a captain.
Bessa Mumba – Zambia
She shattered Kamwendo’s record of being the youngest pilot in Zambia when she became the country’s youngest commercial pilot at the age of 19.
Now with Proflight Zambia, the 22-year-old enrolled in the South African Flight Training Academy in Heidelberg after high school in 2013.
She later took a more complex training at SIMU flight in Pretoria to obtain her Commercial Pilots Licence when she was 18.
Mumba has since been a copilot with Proflight Zambia, flying to various destinations in Zambia.
She first wanted to become a cabin crew member but later realized that being in charge of the aircraft is rather ideal.
Daniel Adeyelika – Nigeria
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority named him as the youngest pilot in Nigeria in 2014 when he was 19. He flies the Boeing 737, 600 series to 900 series.
Born in England, Adeyelika attended primary and secondary school in Scotland before coming back to Nigeria, where he enrolled at Avicenna International School, Ikeja, and later obtained his A-Levels at Greenville School, GRA.
He subsequently went to Delta Flight School, Texas, at the age of 17, where he got his International General Certificate of Secondary Education and Private Pilot License (PPL).
The 23-year-old is currently a first officer.