Kgomotso Phatsima

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Captain Kgomotso Phatsima was born and raised in a small village of Ledumadumane, Botswana. She is the ambassador of youth in aviation and aerospace. Captain Kgomotso Phatsima, one of the first female military pilots in the Botswana Defence Force (BDF).

She is the founder and President of Dare to Dream – a social enterprise dedicated to the advancement of young women and girls in STEM Aviation and Aerospace as well as Entrepreneurship development skills.

She holds a Bachelor of Education in Mathematics from the University of Botswana, Basic Military Flying from the Flying Training School (Botswana Defence Force), Commercial Pilots Licence from Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana, Master of Science (MSc) in Strategic Management from the University of Derby.[1]


  • I always wondered how it would be to be in the sky like a bird, flying that huge machine.
  • At the time, as a girl in my community, the best you could do was be a nurse or a teacher. There was little inspiration to be a pilot. I had to rely on my own research and the little career guidance to learn more about aviation.
  • I realized that teaching was not my passion
  • But even then, I did not get the blessing of my parents
  • There were times I felt like throwing in the towel but, I liked the idea of serving my country, and at the back of my mind, I also wanted to see myself in the cockpit of a military plane
  • It is such grassroots programs that are helping young people to develop an interest in aviation and engineering. Botswana is one of the few countries in which Airbus Foundation has launched the famed Little Engineers Discovery program
  • To date, we have flown close to 400 students in partnership with Air Botswana and the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana
  • This initiative will train 30 youth aged between 18 and 35 years for three months and equip them with the latest skills in CV writing, social media and digital branding, and business planning, among others
  • I have fulfilled my dreams. I hope to inspire young women to be fearless in pursuing what sets their souls on fire.  I want to teach them to be brave enough to explore uncharted territory and make strides in male-dominated industries
  • When I was growing up, I never had the chance to sit like this with a pilot or get into an airplane until I had the chance to fly one. After I qualified as a pilot, I sat down and thought: ‘What can I do to give the upcoming generation, especially those who grew up in a village, like me, an opportunity to do that?’
  • I started Dare to Dream to give back to the community and to try and open up their eyes to opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to
  • We just need to channel the youth in the right direction to take advantage of the technological era, and prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the businesses of tomorrow, which will be definitely different from the businesses of today,” she says.
  • In other African countries such as Rwanda, you’ll find that coding and robotics are part of the curriculum
  • This time around I knew nobody was going to stand on my way, now I was going to follow my dreams. My mother cried. I told her “No mother, this is my dream, this what I want; this is what resonates in my hear
  • When I was growing up as a dusty little village girl, I never had the chance to sit down with a pilot nor see the inside of a flying machine until I had the opportunity to fly it
  • Therefore, seven years ago I started Dare to Dream, to give the upcoming generation a chance I never had!

The Sky Is No Limit For Botswana’s First Female Air Force Pilot

Women in Science

The weight she carries on

Kgomotso Phatsima: From a young age I knew I was born to fly


  1. Women of Rubies. Meet Captain Kgomotso Phatsima, Female Military Pilot in the Botswana Defence Force. Women of Rubies. Retrieved on 18, 2022. Retrieved on November, 2022.