No limits for this powerhouse

SHE is an astute, accomplished and intelligent woman.

SHE is an astute, accomplished and intelligent woman.

Not only is Masithokoze Moyo a shining example of what women can accomplish, but she also works actively to make opportunities more accessible to others.

Moyo is a private pilot and the only woman executive director at Alpine Aviation, an aviation company that flies privately, serving private clients including government officials from the SADC region, multi-billionaires and international celebrities.

How does it feel to be a rose among the thorns?

"My business partners are strong-willed, organised, caring, level-headed and self-aware," she says.

"They are a very supportive bunch."

In addition to her flying career, the 31-year-old is a programme manager for a capacity-building project at a development finance institution, and CEO of the Masithokoze Avhatakale Foundation and Development Trust of Southern Africa.

The foundation is a skills development and business enterprise.

The core business of the foundation is skills development and youth enterprise development.

The business model focuses on partnering with experts who have in-depth knowledge in the scarce skills sectors.

The foundation also conceptualises, designs, implements and delivers skill programmes, learnerships, short courses, dialogue workshops and dialogue conferences.

The foundation also offers deserving students bursaries each year.

Ten bursaries are awarded to aviation students and 15 are for Masters programmes in development studies in the HIV-Aids and cancer disciplines.

Moyo hopes that her involvement in giving back to the community will help to bring in a new generation of children, and especially girls, into scientific and engineering careers.

Moyo was born and raised by a Zambian father and a Xhosa mother at Ngqamakwe in Eastern Cape.

She has a curriculum vitae to die for.

She studied in the United Kingdom and worked for Thomas Cook and O2 Telecommunications Network. Here she also presented and produced the African Diaspora News for BBC-TV West Yorkshire and BBC Radio Leeds.

She returned to South Africa in 2006.

"I aspire to work in the African philanthropic human capacity building field as a developmental activist and specialist in the future," she explains.

"My passion is to work in youth development in the scarce skills sector.

"My main focus is education and training within the aviation industry."

Moyo is single and holds a BA degree in Sociology and a Masters in DevelopmentStudies from Leeds University. She is in the process of completing an MBA.

She also holds a private pilot's licence.

Along the way she has earned numerous awards, including being nominated as one of SA's Most Influential Women in Business.

It was her powerful vision and success that earned her top awards and recognition in her field, not the novelty of being a woman at the helm.

She is also busy with two books called A Rolling Stone Does Gather Moss and Is The Reality Better Than The Perception?

The first book is based on her childhood and describes how her father, a Zambian migrant exile travelled to Zimbabwe, Russia, Italy and Spain with the diplomatic corps and military.

The second book critiques South African youth development programmes and then offers best international practice comparisons.

A regular blogger on Destiny and Destiny Man magazine websites, Moyo also publishes White Papers on youth development and socio-economic matters for various sectors.

Moyo says her life coach, Dumisani Magadlela, is a tower of strength, as are her business partners.

When young professional women ask Moyo for advice, she quickly has an emphatic response:

"You have to love what you're doing.

"Empower yourselves with knowledge and focus on your studies.

"Your background must not determine where it is that you are going," she emphasises.