Her head in the clouds, but her feet on the ground
It has been a long way from the dusty streets of Ermelo, in Mpumalanga, to the sky for Khosini Ngobese.
But, said Ngobese, every stride has been worth it.
Today the talkative young woman is one of the few black female pilots in the country based at the Alpine Aviation School, where she works as a commercial pilot.
Ironically, being a pilot was the last thing on her mind when she grew up.
Like most students in the township, she went about her every day life, going to school, but not really knowing what she wanted to do after matric.
"After I completed my matric I had no idea what to study. So I did a bit of modelling here and there to make some money," said Ngobese.
She then went to the University of Zululand to study.
"I saw BAdmin and thought it sounded good, so I registered for it," recalled the beauty who went on to scoop the title of Miss University of Zululand.
Later on Ngobese decided to change gears and joined a friend who was going to Cape Town to do a project in aviation.
While there she fell head-over-heels in love with flying planes, especially the R44, also known as the "big machine".
That's when her passion for aviation was ignited.
Ngobese, who had completed her bachelor's degree in administration, changed direction and studied aviation. She was awarded her honours in transport economics.
She also qualified as the first black dangerous goods inspector.
"There was a time when I almost threw in the towel. It was tough and I kept thinking I should just give up and move on. I went through rough times and shed some tears," she said.
"But my inner voice told me to keep going, that I was going to make it no matter what people said."
Ngobese recalled her training days and how difficult it was to master hovering in a helicopter. "But it has been worth it," she said.