News

The First Airline Founded By A Black Woman Is Going International This Month

South Africa's Fly Blue Crane airline continues to make waves in the aviation world.

Last year, Air Zimbabwe and Ethiopian Airlines made major strides towards the inclusion of women in the aviation world with the launch of their all-women flight crews. Women continue to be at the forefront of African-based air travel with the establishment of South Africa’s Fly Blue Crane, the first airline to be founded by a black woman.


Fly Blue Crane, which has been operating domestically within South Africa since its inception last September, will be conducting its very first international flight when it launches its service from Cape Town to Windhoek on May 13. The airline is under the leadership of CEO, Sizakele Mzimela, who's also the first black executive vice president of South African Airways and the first woman to be selected to the Board of the International Air Transport AssociationAFKInsider reports.

Mzimela has previously been vocal about her desire to expand the airline outside of South African borders, with specific mention of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and the DRC.

The airline exec, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, shared some words of wisdom for female aviators in an interview with Runway Girl Network:

“You have to accept up front that your road will be more difficult than the pale white male sitting next to you,” she mentions. “It’s your job to say ‘nothing will stop me. I’m going to make it.’”

Center: Fly Blue Crane CEO, Siza Mzimela. Source: Instagram

#FlyBlueCrane ground team ready to offer customers a fresh approach to air travel! A photo posted by Fly Blue Crane (@flybluecrane) on

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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