The baby captain – The first time I heard about a female pilot was during the era of Nigerian Airways, the nation’s former national airline.
She was celebrated on news media as the first female pilot in Nigeria. Her profile sparkled in the eyes of many. This daring woman who could fly a plane.
Driving a car could be a challenge. Some people actually never learn how to drive all their lives. I could have been in that number, if I had not taken a drastic decision one day.
I know the challenges I faced before I learned how to drive. So I am awed that someone can drive a plane through the air. Quite a feat.
That’s why Hadiza Lantana Oboh, the first and only female pilot in Nigerian Airways was celebrated and came close to being venerated – A high form of worship.
I think of Hadiza Lantana Oboh each time I hear a story of females who have achieved great feats in my nation, Nigeria.
And I have cause to think of her once again.
After one impressed traveller took some steps and documented his evidence in a pictorial form.
This impressed traveller was on board Air Peace, one of Nigeria’s airlines and showed how impressed he was with the flying.
In his words, ‘I noticed the quality of landing. Whoever flew that aircraft landed it like a feather. I felt like clapping for the pilot…’
He was eager to meet this Wonder-Pilot who had once again made the female gender in Nigeria, proud. His encounter with the lady called Baby Captain, thrilled him so much, he took a picture of her and splashed it over social media.
I heard of the story through a first-hand source and trust me, to dive into it, with my writing pen.
I present a lady who has fulfilled the scripture in Proverbs 22:29 – The diligent stand before kings.
For I see this young lady who cruises the skies with expertise, scaling the ladder of success to greater heights.
I present Busola Momoh, known by her colleagues as Baby Captain.
The under-25 female pilot in Air Peace.
Bestriding the aviation world like a Colossus and telling the world that there are treasures in the West African nation of Nigeria.
Busola, 2021 graduate of aviation management from Florida Institute of Technology, has done her family proud by securing a seat in the cockpit, at such a tender age.
I am quite sure no one would give her a plane to fly, if she has not proved her worth.
I present a young lady who has washed her hands in the pool of competence and can now sit with the elders.
I had the privilege to get a few comments from The Wonder-Pilot, because of my connection to the first-hand source I mentioned earlier. And she spoke about how she found herself in the cockpit of Air Peace.
In her words: If someone asked me in 2015 (the year I graduated high school) what I wanted to be and do, I wouldn’t have had an answer. My dad and I talked about it because I needed to start thinking of a university to go to and we both landed on the thought of being a pilot (more for him than me because I had never heard of a female pilot before, but it was a thought I kept at the back of my mind). I went to a university where I had the option of doing both my degree and flight training at the same time. I went with the mindset that I will try flying and see how I feel. If I like it, I’d continue and if I don’t, I would just move on. To cut a really long story short, I flew for the first time and have never looked back.’
Busola went on to reveal how she got the job: ‘After multiple attempts applying to different airlines, since I finished my training in 2018, with no luck, I finally had an interview with Air Peace in January 2022 and got hired in February. I have come to the truth that I got this job now because this is the time God wanted me to get the job and I know this because it came with a lot of speed.’
And on her experiences so far: ‘Every day is different and I’m still learning, but I love flying and I am glad I get to do it.’
What about how she felt the first time she flew: ‘It was really interesting because up till that point I had only ever been a passenger and it was nerve-wrecking to think that I could be the one actually controlling the aircraft. But the feeling was an exhilarating one.’
And my own conclusion…
Exciting to hear from the mouth of the Baby Captain herself, isn’t it? I sure feel thrilled to write this piece. Proud to be her aunty by association.
I happen to know the mother of this Wonder-Captain(the name I have coined for her), also known as Baby Captain, and through the proud mother, made the connection that got this information.
Baby Captain has made history with her flying feats.
It is delightful to see young people take the world in their hands.
I deal with a number of them. The bulk of my writer-friends are relatively young people who are achieving marvellous feats in their writing careers.
I celebrate them, just like I love to celebrate creativity.
I celebrate the Baby Captain, Busola Momoh.
I celebrate Air Peace for giving her the space to shine.
I celebrate her parents who let her achieve her dreams.
I celebrate the man, Adolphus Aletor, who revealed her face to the world.
I celebrate all those who are creating the enabling environment for budding stars like Busola, to shine.
I present Busola Momoh, The Baby Captain, with pride in my countenance, joy in my voice, excitement in my pen and a prayer of constant grace for her, in my heart.
© Ify Omeni – The Tale Weaver