Malawi has made history by being the first African country to ever host the high profile world conference for female pilots, named The Ninety-Nines (The 99s).
This year, this international organisation for women pilots is celebrating its 90th Anniversary.
In between their conference, the delegates were on an excursion trip to the Mulanje Mountain and to Thyolo at Makandi Tea Estate and factory done on Friday, a day after their arrival.
The pilots left Blantyre on a four-day excursion trip starting with Lake Malawi before flying to Serengeti Game Park in Tanzania.
Enroute to Lake Malawi, they stopped over at Mua Mission to see cultural dances and traditional Malawian African masks.
And then they had motivational speakers in the hall Monday morning before enjoying a boat cruise.
The pilots then flew to Serengeti Game Park for game viewing and a bush camp dinner before returning to Malawi on Thursday.
All the events were being filmed by DStv and later shall be beamed on one of DStv’s platform, as according to MultiChoice Malawi’s Head of Commercials, Yuk-Yen Au-yeung Sung-wai.
She said they are coming in to prepare the documentary aimed at motivating aspiring female pilots in Malawi and across Africa.
“This is a great aviation moment for Malawi as four of our female pilots are part of this global event.
“We also felt we had to get involved in order to market the Malawi tourism across the world. It’s a great opportunity for the country’s tourism,” she said.
The 99s provides networking, mentoring and flight scholarship opportunities to recreational and professional female pilots.
As of 2018, it had 155 chapters across the globe, including a ‘virtual’ chapter, Ambassador 99s, which meets online for those who are too busy or mobile to be in one region for long.
The organization was founded on November 2, 1929 (90 years ago) by 26 licensed women pilots for the mutual support and advancement of women pilots.
Amelia Earhart had called for a meeting of female pilots in 1929 following the Women’s Air Derby where all 117 women pilots licensed at the time were invited and the group is named for the 99 of them who attended the meeting or expressed an interest in forming the group.
In 2014, The 99s was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame At the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
It’s headquarters are in Oklahoma City in the US and has a membership of 5,100.
It has a museum at Will Rodgers World Airport in Oklahoma whose artifacts include historical papers, personal items, video and oral histories, photos, memorabilia and other notable artifacts from famed woman aviators from around the globe.
The museum collection and exhibits provide insight into the role women pilots played in the development of aviation and their historical footprint.
The 99s members support the goals of the organization by being active in numerous aviation activities that includes aviation education seminars in the community, air racing, and airmarking by volunteering their time to paint airport names, compass rose symbols and other identifications on airports.