About the Awards

Wonders of Aviation South Africa (WOA SA) relies on the aviation industry to identify high potential students who become the WOA Award recipients.

WOA Award recipients learn about the aviation industry by participating in sessions that include a tour of an air traffic control tower; a ride in a helicopter; experience flying a plane either in an Airbus or Boeing flight simulator; instruction in gliding, and a flight in a glider; learning about aeronautical engineering and a tour of the Wits supersonic lab

WOA Award recipients are also taught how to help with outreach efforts, how to be mentors, and how to be a role model to future Award recipients. WOA works with supporting organisations to assist Award recipients in securing employment within the industry.

The air is the only place free from prejudices.
Bessie Coleman, first female pilot of African-American descent, and the first African-American, to hold an international pilots license. 

Awards to-date

WOA’s Awards to-date, include: 

Schenk Family Award Winners

 2017: Buhle Dlodlo  

Buhle Dlodlo was awarded the 2017 Schenk Family Award. She was honoured by Donald P. Schenk for the following reasons:

  • Buhle's is one of Wits University’s top aeronautical engineering students, a past National Aerospace Centre (NAC) Scholarship recipient, and has taken the time to help with Wonders of Aviation South Africa (WOA SA);
  • Her collaborative work with the South African Aero Squad team from Wits University that made it into the top 50 in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition;
  • Her leadership in designing a reading program that will encourage high school students to read more books about aviation;
  • Her leadership in helping the NAC develop an exciting one day program at Wits University for our Award Winners (she also had a hand in selecting 2018’s WOA Award Winner from Wits); and
  • Her commitment to assuming a leadership role at WOA SA during 2018; and her devotion to the principles of WOA.
    Read more about Buhle and her inspirational journey...

2016: Gift Kgadima  

Gift Kgadima was awarded the 2016 Schenk Family Award. He was honoured by Donald P. Schenk for the following reasons:

  • Gift's demonstrated leadership qualities at the Cornerstone College, Silverton, Pretoria where he learned to fly drones. He matriculated from Cornerstone College in 2011. He is a talented RC pilot and participated in the national Fun Fly Masters in 2009 (5th place in Sportsman's Class) and 2010 (3rd place in Sportsman's Class); 
  • His passion, work ethic and responsibility for some of the Aero Club of South Africa's Transformation and Development team's community outreach activities;
  • His inspirational commitment to making a difference in Africa's fight against wildlife poaching by flying drones for Air Shepherd, an organization supported by the Lindbergh Foundation, that uses drones to protect elephants in Africa; and
  • His commitment to assuming a leadership role, and his devotion to the principles of Wonders of Aviation (South Africa). 
    Read more about Gift and his inspirational journey...