Rejected Flight Attendant Starts Her Own Aviation Company.

Sibongile Sambo

Sibongile Sambo is one of many women who helping to get more African women into the pilot’s chair at a major airline.

After being rejected from South African Airlines, because she didn’t meet the minimum height requirement, Sambo decided to start her own business. In the beginning, she struggled — she had to sell her car and use up all of her mother’s pension to start the business. She became the first black African woman to own an aviation company in South Africa.

Sambo’s company, SRS aviation, first took flight in 2004, with the South African Government as its first client. Today SRS Aviation is a booming business that provides personal helicopter services, as well as tourist and luxury flights. The Johannesburg-based company has flown as far as Germany and the United States.

Through her company, Sambo has been able to help 3 African women in obtaining their pilot’s licenses, and she hopes to help many more.