Celebrating female pioneers in Mango-land

On 9 August 2018, South Africa celebrates National Women’s Day. On this day the brave 20,000 South African women from all races who marched to the Union Building on 9 August 1956 to protest against the Pass Laws of the day, are commemorated.

National Women’s Day also honours other countless and nameless women who stood up against injustice and played an integral part in ushering in a democratic country.

At Mango, we believe that women have the power to change the world. This is why we have taken great strides to ensure that we have incorporated women into every aspect of Mango life. Since we first took to the skies nearly 12 years ago, 52% of our employees were female, and today this number has jumped to 68%. All of whom are pioneering their way through Mango-land.

Meet just some of the leading ladies within Mango:

 Nandi Mbele – Mango Pilot

Nandi Mbele has been a pilot since 2009 and joined the Mango family six years ago. Why did she want to become a pilot?

“I didn’t want a boring job for the rest of my life. I’m a person who gets bored very quickly so I need something that will be able to stimulate all my senses. I need to be kept on my toes. Even if you have been flying for years, this profession allows you to perfect your craft on a daily basis, and you get to learn new things,” explains Mbele.

Why Mango? “Since as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to pilot a Boeing, joining Mango gave me that chance. It’s a very powerful aircraft and just when you think it’s given you all it has to give, it gives you a little bit more power. And it’s an orange!”

Her advice to other young women looking to follow in her footsteps?

“Always work hard and never doubt yourself because you are a female, you are equal to your male counterparts and always keep working at being the best you can be!”

Nokuthula Mkhangeli – Marketing Coordinator

Nokuthula Mkhangeli is our Marketing Coordinator and joined the team 12 years ago. She cut her teeth in the call centre, and steadily moved her way into Customer Service. During this time she started helping out in the Marketing department and this is when the marketing bug bit!

“I love everything about my job, especially the excitement of coming up with new marketing strategies. Marketing in the airline industry is so different to other industries because it is very tactical and reactionary. I also love the fact that every day is a different experience, and that means every single day of my life is fresh and exciting,” says Mkhangeli.

Her advice to other young women looking to follow in her footsteps? “It’s not easy! This job requires you to be away from home for long periods of time. For me, this is tricky because I’m a single mother and I’m studying at the same time. You need determination and passion for what you do in order to successfully juggle all the roles you need to fill to make a success. My family has been fantastic in helping me find that perfect balance.”

Diagracia Letsie – Senior Cabin Crewmember

Diagracia Letsie is a true people’s person. Her fascination with the aviation industry has been a long and exciting one and started after she matriculated from Vosloorus Junior Secondary School in 1995. Her mother was working at O.R Tambo International Airport at the time, and Letsie accompanied her mother to work one day.

“The one thing that caught my eye that day, was the beautiful uniforms of the South African Airways cabin crew. After spending the day at the very busy and exciting airport, I knew it was where I wanted to be for the rest of my life. I love the fact that I get to meet different people on daily basis! When I am on-board flying I am in my happy place! Sometimes you get a passenger that is having a bad day, and the fact that I can reach out and change that is very special to me,” explains Letsie.

What attracted her to Mango? The bright orange… obviously! “You can’t miss it when you look up at the sky and you see an orange plane… you know its Mango. We are growing as a company, which is exciting for me because it’s great to work for an airline that started out very small but has shown its determination to grow into this amazing organisation it has today. We also have a very diverse culture within Mango, which is incredibly special.”

Her advice to other young women looking to follow in her footsteps?

“If you want to fly, you need to be a people’s person. There are lots of challenges and there are people from different environments so you need to be up there smiling and be helpful no matter what! Also, you need to read a lot, you can’t work with people if you aren’t clued up about what is happening around you.”

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