They say beauty comes with brains. And this is no less for Amel Ajongo Mawut Unguec, daughter to former Chief of Defense Forces, the late General James Ajongo Mawut, who has set her eyes for more than just the sky.

Being recognized as the second ever South Sudanese female pilot, Amel Ajongo opens up about her journey to the sky team, a male dominated world, in an exclusive interview with Hot in Juba.

Hot in Juba; Please tell us about yourself.

Amel; I am Amel Ajongo Mawut Unguec, soon turning 21 years old. I am the late General James Ajongo Mawut’s daughter.

Hot in Juba; How did you get into aviation?
Amel; I did my training at the Kenya School of Flying, a professional flight training school based in Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. The course takes a period of 2 and a half years.

Hot in Juba; During your course period, what challenges did you encounter?

Amel; I think female pilots face essentially the same challenges that male pilots face. The overall difficulty is the stress of training. For instance, during my training we were 8 ladies out of a class of 11 when we started but unfortunately as we proceeded I came to be the only lady in the class. There is a little sex discrimination in the aviation field but gladly there are increasing numbers of professional female pilots.

Hot in Juba; Where do you hope to find a piloting job or is there a specific airline you wish to work with?

Amel; I have no plans on that yet. I am currently working on something and maybe in a few months to come is when I will be ready for piloting.

Hot in Juba; I do understand you are the late General James Ajongo Mawut’s daughter. He would have been so proud of you now. Is there anything you would have told him at such a moment?

Amel; I must say I am proud of him and for sure I know he would have been proud of me as well. It’s just so unfortunate that I will be not in a position to fly him because he took me through the training and also supported me both financially and morally.

Hot in Juba; What message would you send to any young South Sudanese girl who would want to follow your career path despite it being a male dominated field?

Amel; I believe that women in time will do great things. So don’t limit yourself. Don’t dream of success, just work for it and keep in mind, discipline is key.