Awards/2018 Award Winners


Boitumelo 'Tumi' Katisi  (in her own words)
Nominated by the Aero Club of South Africa

"My name is Boitumelo 'Tumi' Katisi. I am a private pilot with Loutzavia Flight School at Rand Airport. I first discovered my love for aviation in 2008. I had a Life Orientation school assignment to visit a workplace for a day, and I was fortunate to have an aunt who worked at South African Airways who could take me for a day to see how they operate - and that's when the aviation bug bit me. I am currently sponsored by three well know yet awesome companies: Anglo American ZA, Breitling and E Oppenheimer & Sons. I dream of flying the A380-800 for one of the worlds leading airlines and owning my own fleet of private jets charter company. In 2014, I had the opportunity to fly a private jet, the Embraer Phenom 300, as co-pilot with Captain Bekker from Lanseria Airport. I am passionate about aviation, and I reach out to the youth to fulfill and chase their dreams. 

Tumi's awards include: Most Dedicated Student of the Year 2014 with Loutzavia Flight School, Rand Airport; and named Most Aspiring Pilot of 2015 by Matthew C. Martino, aviation guru and philanthropist. She is a motivational speaker and inspiration to many. In 2014, she featured on YFM Radio talk show with Mo Flava; on Eldos FM Radio talk show; and again with Mo Flava on Metro FM Radio talk show. In 2015, she was profiled in the Sunday World Newspaper. 

Tumi is one of the founders of Aviation Development in Africa (ADA), an NGO established in 2015 with 10 members. ADA have set up the Young Aviators Fund to raise finance for previously disadvantaged aspiring pilots. View Tumi talking about her life and being a pilot on YouTube.


Kaylin Pillay  (in his own words)
Nominated by 
SAA Technical

"My name is Kaylin Pillay. I am currently enrolled in a Bank Learnership. I am so excited and grateful to be nominated as a Wonders of Aviation 2018 Award recipient. Aviation has always been my passion. I eat, sleep and dream aviation and partake in any sort of aviation activities and programmes. As a child I received my first aircraft toy - and from that moment its just been getting better and better. I always researched aviation, and I aspired to reach my dream of one day working for an airline, and flying the amazing SAA Airbus A340 aircraft. I've been going to many air shows over the years, and I volunteered for two years at an aviation museum, where I was a tour guide on the historic SAA Boeing 747 Lebombo. I am so excited about the Wonders of Aviation programme and very keen to participate in 2018. I know its going to be a year full of fun and learning, and getting a few steps closer to achieving my dream of working in the aviation industry."


 Thabiso Leballo   (in her own words)
Nominated by Wits University National Aerospace Centre (NAC)

"My name is Thabiso Leballo. Growing up in a township like Alexandra, there are not many role models to look up to. Luckily my father helped me to dream big. We would stay up late playing video games, then one day he bought me an aeroplane game. He started taking me to airports just to watch the planes land and take off. I then wanted to become a pilot. I was young, inspired and I had a dream: to be a part of those big flying machines I saw in the skies of Alexandra and at airports. I quickly realised the world of airplanes, better yet, the world of aviation is big and connected, from pilots to technicians to engineers, and even hobbyists. I decided to be an aeronautical engineer. I chose this field because I wanted to understand more about how these big machines fly, and how they stay up there without falling. So I enrolled at the only university that offers undergraduate for Aeronautical Engineering: the University of the Witwatersrand. It has not been an easy path. I have truly come a long way. I am currently in my third year. Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes I don’t, but in truth, though this road has been hard it is definitely worth it. I hope that I can have an impact on the world of aviation, in any way, big or small. I also hope to inspire young South Africans from disadvantage backgrounds - I want to show them that anything is possible and it doesn't matter where you come from, you can achieve your dreams."


Jeremiah Siyanata   (in his own words)
Nominated by Phoenix Aviators 

"My name is Jeremiah Siyanata. I am a Grade 10 student at Cornerstone College and a member of the Model Flying Club. I developed a passion and love for flying when I was in Grade 5, and my passion grew, as I lived 5 minutes from a domestic airport in Midrand called Grand Central. My dream is to become a commercial pilot. I have had the opportunity to fly in one of the single engine aircraft used by student pilots to acquire their wings, and am more than 100% positive I’ll soon be the one earning my wings in one of them. I enjoy reading, meeting new people and learning about airplanes and the field of aviation. I love reading the SA Flyer monthly magazine. I was very excited when I was nominated for a Wonders of Aviation 2018 Award. I sincerely hope all will go well this year and pledge to put my whole heart, time and effort to have a cooperative and successful time with you." 


 Magnificent Masinga  (in his own words)
Nominated by Cornerstone College 

"My name is Magnificent Masinga and I grew up in a loving and caring family. I regard myself as a unique and creative person. I love reading, and during my spare time I write chapters of a novel I want to publish one day entitled “Planet Thela”. One day I want to be a pilot, but my ambitions truly lie in film directing and producing. I create beautiful stories and express myself through my writing. I am a visual learner and love to study astronomy as it opens splendid dimensions in my mind. Ever since I joined the Model Flying Club, my life has changed in wonderful ways and I am very grateful for the experience. I have twice been awarded the Model Flyer of the Year. I thank Dr. Hurlin, Director of Cornerstone College and the Model Flying Club. My aim is to share my talent with other students in the club so they can reach their potential. Aviation helps me aim high. One day I will fly passengers safely around the world."


 Lindelani Dlamini  (in his own words)
Nominated by Comair Limited 

"My name is Lindelani Dlamini. I thank Comair Limited for nominating me for a Wonders of Aviation 2018 Award. I would like to call myself humble, hard working, a person who seeks challenges, and most of all, professional. I'm very innovative, can think on my feet and have a unique perspective. Being a team player has always been a priority for me because if you work well with a team a good outcome is always the result. One of the qualities I like most about myself is that I thrive under pressure and work smart."