Sibongile Sambo: Once a Rejected Stone, now the Owner of the First Black Female-Owned Aviation Company in South Africa

by Duchess Magazine

Sibongile Rejoice Sambo is the founder and CEO of SRS Aviation. She started the business in 2004 as the first black female-owned aviation company in South Africa following a string of rejections and disappointments related to her job application as a flight attendant.

Sambo was born in the South African village of Bushbuckridge in 1974. She graduated from the University of Zululand with a Bachelor of Administration, after which she applied for a position as a flight attendant with the South African Airways. Sambo was disappointed to learn that she couldn’t meet the company’s minimal height criteria for a flight attendant position.

After being awarded a contract for freight transport by the South African government, Sibongile Sambo collaborated with MCC Aviation, a fixed and rotor wing charter firm based in South Africa.

VIP charters, tourist transfers, medical evacuations, aerial photography, helicopter services, cargo charters, aerial photography, and general air security services are just a few of the aviation services offered by SRS.

The goal of Sibongile’s SRS Aviation is to provide consumers and businesses with superior air service at affordable prices both locally and internationally. She stated in a CNN interview: “I am where I am because someone made an investment in me. Now is my chance to make an investment in other people.”

Many honors have been bestowed upon Sibongile Sambo. At the Black Woman in Business Awards (BIBA) in London in 2006, she took home a prize. Sambo was named one of the 20 Young Power Women in Africa in 2013. She is a participant in the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Think Tank and was recognized by Fortune Magazine as a “Leader of Tomorrow.” Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy founded the organization. Sambo was put forward by the European Business Assembly in 2009 for the Queen Victoria Memorial Award.

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