Koki Mutungi was the first female pilot to fly with Kenya Airways in 1993. And in 2014, she went down in history as the first woman in Africa to receive a Captain of the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ certification. Mutungi developed a passion for flying from as early as age five, watching her father a now-retired commercial pilot with Kenya Airways in action.
Born in 1979, the ‘Boeing girl’ as she is fondly called, first obtained her Pilot’s Licence from Kenya School of Flying based at Wilson Airport. She would then receive her Commercial Pilot’s Licence from the Federal Aviation Authority after more training at the Oklahoma City Flying School in the US.
Traditionally, women were only seen as good for the non-technical jobs such as flight attendants and airport support staff. But the former student of Moi Girls School Nairobi has no doubt dispelled this notion. She is passionate about mentoring the next generation of female pilots as well as demystifying the profession that has long been held as exclusively for men.
In 2014, Mutungi led the all-female crew that brought Kenya Airways’ fourth B787-8 Dreamliner to Kenya from the assembly plant in the US. The crew was dubbed ‘Dreamgirls’.
While flying is highly technical, Mutungi is keen to portray it as an undertaking that is possible for anyone who sets their heart on it. She is undoubtedly a role model for many young girls and women, and a captain worthy of celebration in Africa and the world.