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‘I love it’: S. Africa’s first black female fighter pilot takes internet by storm (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

‘I love it’: S. Africa’s first black female fighter pilot takes internet by storm (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
South Africa held the inauguration of newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday, but one young pilot stole the headlines and shot to international fame as South Africa's first black female fighter pilot.

Major Mandisa Nomcebo Mfeka, 32, was born in Ntuzuma, just outside Durban on South Africa’s east coast. Mfeka loved aviation from the age of five and realised her dream of taking to the skies in 2008 when she joined the South African Air Force (SAAF), earning her wings just three years later.

Mfeka’s meteoric rise to fame was further cemented during Saturday’s ceremony when she led the Hawks display team flyover to mark Ramaphosa’s inauguration at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

She quickly became an online sensation in South Africa and beyond, with people send her support, hailing "girl power" and saying Mfeka's history-making achievement has made them "proud to be South African."

“The first time I realized I could join the air force and become a pilot was when I was 16 when I was doing research about careers in maths and science, and I remember coming across an article by the South African Air Force,” Mfeka said in an interview.

When asked about her role as a combat fighter pilot, she described it as “an amazing experience” that is “so mentally stimulating.”

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“I love it,” she concluded.

Mfeka wasn’t the only woman in charge in the skies on inauguration day, and was accompanied by 33-year-old Major Nandi Zandi, who commanded a Lockheed C-130 Hercules in the formation display.

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