The Life of a Ugandan Female Army Jet Pilot: Meet Jacinta Kyomuhangi

Jacinta Kyomuhangi was the only female in the recently passed out pilot trainees

Looking back at her childhood days, treat 28 year old Jacinta Kyomuhangi cannot help surmise how her life’s goals changed so fast.

She feigns a poignant look as we converse, viagra dosage and admonishes herself for ditching her modest young dreams to invade the ‘world of men:’ the world of pilots. She then giggles.

Growing up around little civilization in the remote peripheries of Ibanda in western Uganda, page Jas, as many have inured to call her, never dreamt of flying planes.

“Not once,” she reaffirms to Chimpreports, “Except looking at them flying by in the skies and admiring them.”

Her childhood dream was to work in her hotel. If not, she would go into fashion design.

Jacinta just graduated at the start of this month, together with a couple dozen others after four years of training at the Gulu Airbase.

She was the only female trainee of the 25 that were passed out by the Chief of Defense Forces Gen Katumba Wamala on July 1st.

“My background is very humble; I grew up in family of nine children. I am the last born,” she narrates in an interview.

Born of Cyril and Generoza Biizire back in April 1988, Jacinta went to Rwenkobwa Primary School and Citizen Secondary School Kagongo in Ibanda District, where she completed her A Level. With no clear hope for further formal education; she was encouraged to join the army.

And that was where her flying potential was noticed, she recalls. “They selected me and gave me the exams and I passed highly and there I was enrolled as a pilot student.”

She recollects at that time, that she was extremely tense and scared of heights. She first trained in an L37, and the experience she says was pretty bloodcurdling.

Jacinta was eventually excited to fly solo

Jacinta was eventually excited to fly solo

“At the time, we had no flight simulators; they just brought them recently,” she says. “But eventually I went solo and was perhaps the most invigorating moment.”

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces Air Force (UPDAF) is not yet as busy, sophisticated and vibrant; which partly explains the national army’s stumpy global ranking.

Its work tends to come in small portions and only occasionally.  Like recently it was charged with the responsibility of evacuating pregnant Ugandan mothers, very young children and the sick trapped in South Sudan.

Jacinta, in spite of the local limitations, has still dreams of pushing her career many more steps further. She is currently married to a supportive husband, who is a doctor.

She says she has already mastered the art of juggling her work and her family, and anticipates no major challenges in the near future.

Back home she says her family is proud of her

Back home she says her family is proud of her

Back, home she says some of her village-mates and relatives still don’t believe she is a pilot. But her family is very, very proud of her.

To the young girls who are already looking up to her she has a simple message; “Work hard and remain focused. You better not undermine, underestimate or treat yourselves as girls. You should always aspire to beat the boys.”


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