Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. "N.R Mandela"
I am Captain Kgomotso Phatsima. I am the Founder and President of Dare To Dream. I am among the first female pilots to ever kiss the skies of Botswana with a military aircraft. I am the Author of "Born To Fly- The Story of a Female Military Pilot Rising in Africa". Before I begin our story allow me to quote the most amazing African legend of all time.
Education is the engine of personal development and growth . It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of mines, that a child of a farm worker can become a president of a great nation " Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
I grew up from very humble beginnngs in a small village called Ledumadumane. A village which is a just a stone throw from Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. I used to walk barefoot to school and see aeroplanes passing over my mother's house and from an early young age I knew I was born to fly!
I finished my high school with exceptionally flying colours because I knew where I wanted to go. Knowing where you are going is the first step of getting there. I was admitted in South Africa to study piloting, my family did not support my dream, they say it was too risky , way too out of the norm for a girl child from very humble beginnngs to fly aeroplanes! With a 45 year's old difference my mother lamented - we are too poor my child, during our time s girl child could never fly aeroplanes, Go to the university and become a teacher. We truly lived in completely different generations with my mother. Indéed I went to University of Botswana to study Bachelor of Education Science specialising in mathematics and physics. And ultimately became a teacher
In April 2009 the Botswana Defence Force decided to enlist it's first female military pilots, and the requirements was any basic degree in science, that very degree that I was reluctant to pursue became a launching pad and a runway towards my flying career and this time around I knew nobody was going to stand on my way. I left home for a year long basic military training. My mother cried! But I told her no mother this is my dream, this is what resonate in my heart. This is what I want!
The basic military training was one of a kind! The most painful yet challenging and exciting experience ever. I learned a lot of things from leadership to tactics, shooting a gun to working as a team to martial arts and self defence. Every time when I was tired, when I didn't feel like doing it is anymore, when I was too exhausted and drained walking 120kms if I saw a plane flying above the sky; if I was running I will run faster, If I was shooting, I will shoot with more precision enthusiasm and passion. It motivated me because I knew that ultimately I will achieve my dream.
Fast forward to now a decade down the line I have achieved a lot of things, and also lost a lot of things, the journey has been mesmerising, exciting, risky and challenging. I lost the woman who raised me - I lost my mother! l lost my friend
Nevertheless Not only was I a military pilot I have a Master of Science degree in Strategic Management from the University of Derby with a focus on aviation safety, I also have a post graduate certificate in Enterprise Risk Management as well as a certificate in Finance for Non Finance managers from Botswana Accountancy College. I am a certified and qualified trainer by Botswana Qualifications Authority among others. I have a Commercial Pilot Licence from the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana.... And in April 2019 was my FINAL and 10th year of my military career, I resigned from the army to fully focus on my business and Foundation
I am the Founder and President of Dare to Dream, When I was growing up in the village I never had the opportunity to sit down with a pilot nor see the inside of a flying machine until I had the opportunity to fly it, after qualifying as one of the first female Military Pilots in Botswana Defence Force l started Dare To Dream to inspire the next generation more especially girls and those who grew up in the village like me and give them a chance I never had, We use the POWER OF FLIGHT to ignite dreams, to celebrate passion and give the upcoming generation a sense of purpose in their education.
For this reason I won the Botswana Youth Awards Best Female of the Year Award 2017 , I have also been selected by the Obama Foundation as one of the exceptional emerging young brilliant young minds changing the narrative of our communities, our countries and the African Continent. I have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen British High Commission 80th Commonwealth Point of Light Award Winner. I am an alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program - Leadership Tour of the United States of America
Lastly Dare to Dream! Dare to be inspired by our story! Dare to be the difference! Dare to be the change you want to see in the world!!! Support our efforts and donate to our noble cause!! Today we can!!!
Thank you! Ke a leboga