Kalenga Kamwendo from Zambia is OD Young Person of the Month – February 2015
Happy New Month of Love.
We are excited to introduce our February 2015 Young Person of the Month – Kalenga Kamwendo, the youngest commercial pilot in Zambia, working for Proflight Zambia. What intrigues us most is that at only 21, Kalenga has flown to “over 10 destinations, local and abroad over a 100 times”. He had originally planned to become an engineer, but after hearing that there was a mistaken belief that Zambians could not become pilots, he decided to prove people wrong.
Read his inspiring story and dare to be different.
Kalenga, 21 years, is the youngest commercial pilot in Zambia and a proud member of the Proflight Zambia flight crew. He is a First Officer flying with captains across the airline’s network, having been hired as part of the company’s commitment to support Zambian youth and nurture new local talent.
Kalenga joins an elite team of 36 pilots flying for Proflight on routes from Lusaka to Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi and Kasama, as well as Chipata, Mansa, Lilongwe in Malawi and Lubumbashi in Congo DR. He joined the airline in September last year, having been given the job on August 26 – his 20th birthday.
Born in Kitwe, the second of three children, his father, Thomas Kamwendo, is an engineer and his mother, Mailes Kamwendo, a nurse. Having studied at Nkana Trust Primary School and Mpelembe Secondary School, Kalenga went straight to the 43 Air School after graduating from grade 12 in 2012.
In one year and three months he graduated with his commercial pilot’s licence, having flown 200 hours and been rated to fly Caravan aircraft. Since joining Proflight he has now got over 500 hours of flying time to his name and has flown to more than ten destinations on over 100 flights.
It was Kalenga’s parents who encouraged and supported their son’s dream of a career in aviation. He had originally planned to become an engineer, but after hearing that there was a mistaken belief that Zambians could not become pilots, he decided to prove people wrong.
He recalls his first day as a commercial pilot: “I was nervous; I didn’t even have the full uniform. I was flying to Kasama and had to be up at 4hrs.” But the satisfaction of the job soon came through: “There are tons of thrills, from something as simple as seeing a passenger happy, to the thrill of flying.”
On what inspires him
Kalenga draws his inspiration from the colleagues he is working with at Proflight, and in particular is guided by Capt. Vivian Sikazwe, who at 64 is the airline’s oldest commercial pilot.
Who will be the Next Young Person of the Month?
You can be the next Opportunity Desk Young Person of the Month! All you have to do is get a friend to recommend your work or fill out the nomination form here. We want to use the platform to recognize and celebrate the efforts of amazing young people around the world. O! And you must be an active Opportunity Desk member, either as a fan, reader or subscriber!