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Irene Koki Mutungi: the 1st African lady, captain in commands of a Boeing 787

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The Kenyan pilot Irene Koki Mutungi has not to envy her colleagues men. Chief pilot, she is the first African woman captain in air transport history. Daughter of a father pilot, Kiko has fed since her childhood the ambition to succeed to her father. She is a captain today and flying on a Boeing 787 for the airline company Kenya Airways.

The sky has no secret for her. Very young, Irene Koki Mutungi admired his father flying Boeings. Her passion for the sky brought her to opt for the career of her father.

« I started flying in 1993 during my first courses in piloting. I remember having flown with my father in London when I was eight years old and I was sitting with him in the cockpit during the entire route. Since then, I knew that it was what I wanted to do », she indicated.

I order to reach her goal, the Kenyan benefited from the support of his father who is today proud of her.

At the age of 17 years, she began her training at Oklahoma City flight school in parallel with academic activities. « Every six months, I pass by a very rigorous training. And I think of putting back that. During the training, we were given any sorts of lessons concerning emergency situations, by exposing us to difficult scenarios for which we can possibly intervene when we are in commands, and we are adapted to the way of facing it », she indicated.

In spite of problems met during her training, Kiko managed to rise through the ranks. Far from having complexes, she maintains a cordial relation with her colleagues. « I feel at ease in what I’m doing, whether it is during late working hours, days off and my working hours, everything goes well for me. I cannot work in a structured environment, although air transport industry is structured in its own way », she explained.

This model for African youth is not planning to leave aeronautical world even during he retirement. As her father (today consultant), she wishes to spend the rest of her days to manage air transports.


Original text by: Roger ADZAFO


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