Captain Kgomotso Phatsim - Botswana
Founder of Dare to Dream Foundation
Captain Kgomotso Phatsim is a social entrepreneur working for the advancement of youth, women, and girls in STEAME (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Entrepreneurship) as well as Aviation and Aerospace. She uses the power of flight to ignite dreams, celebrate passion, and build diversity and inclusion in order to equip the upcoming generation with business entrepreneurial skills.
A pioneer in the field of STEM, particularly in the field of aviation, Botswana’s Captain Kgomotso Phatsima is one of the few female pilots in the country. As a young child, looking up at airplanes passing high above, Captain Phatsima knew she was “born to fly”. Her humble beginnings, though, led her to pursue a more “practical” career in education. However, when the Botswana Defence Force started to enlist its first female military pilots in 2009, she saw an opportunity to realise her dream of flying. She enlisted, and soon became one of the first female military pilots in the Botswana Defence Force.
Captain Phatsima realised that very few youth, and even fewer girls, were interested in STEM subjects, which are imperative for careers in aerodynamics; e.g. becoming a pilot or working within the aerospace industry. This led to her establishing the Dare to Dream Foundation which is involved in the advancement of youth, women, and girls within the STEM field. The foundation not only supports the promotion of careers in aviation and aerospace, but also in robotics, coding, entrepreneurial development, business leadership, and other skills essential for students to progress in the business world in Africa and globally.
The Botswana Defence Force decided to enlist its first female military pilots in April 2009. This time, I knew no one would stand in my way, and I was going to pursue my aspirations.
My mother was in tears. “No, mother,” I assured her, “this is my dream, this is what I want; this is what my heart says.” To my parents' dismay, I left home for a year of basic military training. It was a one-of-a-kind experience. The most mind-blowing, painful, difficult, yet exhilarating and occasionally extremely engaging experience ever. I learnt everything from martial arts and tactics to leadership, unarmed fighting, shooting a gun, and teamwork.
Dare to Dream is a social enterprise based at the Botswana Innovation hub. It is dedicated to the advancement of youth, women and girls in STEAME as well as Aviation and Aerospace.
Captain Kgomotso Phatsima has positively impacted the lives of youth, women and girls through education, networking, mentorship and scholarships.
Dare to Dream uses the latest technological advances to INSPIRE and shape change by supporting the next generation of leaders in STEAME as well as Aviation and Aerospace.