11 March 2019
THE Air Force of Zimbabwe on Friday joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Women’s Day by acknowledging the exploits of Flight Lieutenant Angelina Bosha, who is the first female officer to attain a jet flying training course.
AFZ has made tremendous strides in championing the presence of women in the force.
Of the professionals, who graduated at this year’s graduation ceremony in Gweru, females outnumbered their male counterparts.
After completing her studies at the end of last year in China, the 29-year-old officer became the first and only female fighter jet pilot in the history of AFZ.
At the course she was the only female student of the 14 pilots across the globe who were partaking in the one-year course.
In outlining the touring importance of her achievement deputy base commander, Josiah Tungamirai Airfoce base, Group Captain Ezweni Masuku said:
“Flight Lieutenant Bosha is the first female fighter jet pilot of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, before Flight Lieutenant Bosha we have never had a female pilot going to the fighter jets.
“What has made her unique is that she has met the grade that is required of a fighter pilot, she is not going there because of affirmative action but because she meets the required criterion of a fighter jet pilot.
“As an organisation we do have programmes of addressing gender imbalances but we have also made it very clear that being a professional organisation as we are, we will not compromise the standards to further the issues of gender imbalances.
“We are happy that on this day we are celebrating the women’s day, Flight lieutenant Bosha has made it into a career not only in the AFZ but the world at large (fail to) make it to become a fighter jet pilot.
“The course has its own physiological challenges, I must say she is unique she has made it and we will not look at her as a woman but we will look at her as a fighter pilot,” said Group Captain Masuku.
Flight Lieutenant Bosha implored all women not to expect preferential treatment but to work hard to be successful in life.
“I just told myself that I can do it, the support I have been receiving from my superiors back home has been valuable and I just told myself that yes I can even if I was the only female.
“My instructor here in Zimbabwe encouraged me to take up the course, he told me that I can do it and I just worked very hard to achieve it.
“The most important thing to ladies out there is that they should not expect special treatment because there such fields like ours where there is no separation when it comes to training, the training is standard for both male and females so there is no special treatment,” she said.