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My name is Rinaye Mphanama, from Limpopo. I am currently doing my 4th year in UCT, studying a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.

I attended the girl fly camp in 2014 October (I was in grade 12). I remember one of my high school teachers telling me about the camp and I was not too sure if I wanted to go or not but after thing long and hard about and discussing it with my parents, I decided to go. The reason I decided to go was that I really wanted to explore other careers.

It was my first time ever hearing about a program that encourages females to enter the aviation and aerospace field. If I am honest, I had no interest in aviation and aerospace, simply because I had no idea what it was about (except being a pilot) and where I’m from we were never exposed to such careers.

When I arrived at the camping area with a few other people I was mind blown by the number of girls that attended the camp. It was shocking because I did not think that young girls would be interested in aviation and aerospace or even learning about it. When the info sessions started that week, I was really amazed to see that there are females in this industry, I mean I’ve only seen male pilots and heard that there are females (but never seen them). The sessions really simulated a desire for aerospace and aviation. I wanted to go to aviation school, but my father was not interested in hearing me, he just wanted me to be a doctor. So, I then decide that I will just go varsity and do Astrophysics, well, it sounded fascinating. The first three months of doing Astrophysics were terrible, I realised I had no passion for it it’s no use to continue. The following (2016) I changed my degree in chemistry.

If I had an opportunity to get into aviation, I would have done that. All in all, SAWIA is a great program. It really educates girls about aviation and aerospace industry and empowers them. I am pretty sure that most girls there took a career path into aviation and aerospace.

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