Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo, of Ogbomoso parentage, is a young Nigerian with a big dream, which she is already living in grand style. She is an aircraft pilot with Qatar Airways. Her place in history is assured as she became the first Nigerian female pilot to fly Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Qatar Airways is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar with headquarters at Doha. With a fleet of over 200 aircrafts and over 43, 000 persons in its employ, Qatar Airways links over 150 international destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania.
By her exploits, she joins the exclusive club of female pilots across Africa including Kenya’s Captain Irene Koki, Ethiopia’s Captain Amsale Gulau, Niger’s Lieutenant Ouma Laouali, Ghana’s Patricia Mawuli, Rwanda’s Esther Mbabazi, Captain Chinyere Kalu of Nigeria and South Africa’s Asnath Mahapa.
Career & family
Sowemimo attended First Baptist Church High School, Angwa Boro, Kaduna state. She also studied at the prestigious Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso and was at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria, Kaduna state. Unwavering in attaining her goal of flying the big birds, she proceeded to the Sunrise Aviation Academy, Ormond Beach, Florida, United States of America, graduating in 2011. The door of the aviation industry was now flung open to her.
In 2019, she became the first Nigerian female pilot to work for Qatar Airways. She has gone ahead to be the Nigerian first female pilot to fly the Boeing 767 Aircraft across the Atlantic, and is now manning (or womaning) the cockpit in the gigantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner, also as the first female Nigerian pilot.
She is married to Seunfunmi Olamilekan Sowemimo, an Abeokuta, Ogun state-born Environmental, Health and Safety EHS officer at Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco), who previously worked as IT/Data officer at European Commission.
Last November, she wrote on her Facebook wall, after assisting Captain Khan Sameer Ali, to operate Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight to Abuja, “It was a great pleasure to operate the inaugural flight to Abuja, Nigeria with the state of the art B787 Dreamliner. I am honoured. #IAmBreakingLimits.”
She is unfazed by her modest achievements as she is set on conquering more heights. May she continue to rise and be an inspiration to girls and women in the continent!