Our dreams will come true and our destinies will be fulfilled only when we in patience wait for it and in hope expect the best.
Susan Mashibe is the founder, owner and Executive Director of VIA Aviation, formerly known as Tanzanite Jet Centre (TanJet). Her journey to world acclaim began several years ago in Mwanza Tanzania. As a little girl, she made an eye contact with her destiny and since then, she never looked away.
She was only four at the time, petite and full of life. Standing next to her grandmother at the airport in Tanzania, she watched as her parent’s plane took off, and at that point, she beheld something her grandmother could not see even though she was much older and more experienced. She saw a beautiful future, full of possibilities.
Susan left the airport that day, but she took something with her; courage to pursue her dream. Few years later, at age ten precisely, Providence drove the young but purpose driven Susan to Dar es Salaam airport where she saw her first 747.
That sight amazed the little girl, but her discovery few years later blew her mind; she found that on the day she saw that 747, she was standing above the current site of VIA aviation- her company’s space. You call it a coincidence? Well you may be right but I choose to term it providence. Which reminds me of the saying; “No incident is an accident to he who has purpose, for even his mistakes point to his greatness.”
Well I guess that act sealed the deal for the young girl, interestingly it appears that was the day she formerly possessed her dream.
Susan’s journey in life has been an interesting one, but not without hurdles as is common with everyone with a clear purpose. After her secondary education, she went on to Western Michigan University and in few years, she became the first female FAA-certified commercial pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer in Tanzania.
At 19, the young change maker left her native Tanzania to fly jetliners in the U.S. But after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, she returned home to help reshape African private air travel. Since then, her impact has been felt extensively in Africa, especially in the aviation sector.
In 2003, Susan Mashibe founded her company, whose aim is to serve private aviation needs in three countries across the African continent. Her company is unique in Tanzania, as it specializes in logistical support to business aviation in the region. It is also one of very few in Africa that support business jets with necessities such as catering and hangar space. They also accept credit cards, which is indeed a big plus for the company.
Today, her company services clients including; Heads of State, top oil billionaires, monarchs, Fortune 500 executives, and military personnel.
Ms. Mashibe has indeed become a recognized leader in aviation business in Tanzania and East Africa. She is a 2011 WEF Young Global Leader, an Archbishop Tutu Fellow on 2009 and a 2011 Fortune Most Powerful Woman mentee.
She is also a Tanzania Country Chair for Global Dignity and the Africa Regional Lead for the National Business Aviation Association.
Susan is currently on a mission to establish aircraft maintenance and repair services at Kilimanjaro which will measure up to international standards for general and corporate aviation. She is also on the move to promote math and science, paying special attention to female pupils in primary and secondary schools in Tanzania. You can call it her way of giving back to her dear country.
Before Susan’s great innovation, private aviation in our part of the world hasn’t been at its best. Previously, anyone flying a private plane in Tanzania had to pay for fuel in advance or carry cash exceeding $20,000. But her arrival has made an undeniable difference.
For Susan, it’s excellence all the way. No stopping. Ahead, ahead!!
© 2014 – 2017, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.