Adeola Sowemimo is a professional Nigerian aircraft pilot who is famous for being the first Nigerian female pilot to work for Qatar Airways, the state-owned carrier of Qatar.
Adeola Sowemimo is the first Nigerian female pilot to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, one of the most advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft in the world.
Sowemimo’s passion and determination for aviation began since childhood. She said, “I have always loved flying right from when I was a little girl. I remember telling my dad that I wanted to be a pilot when I grow up.” Adeola enrolled at the US based Sunrise Aviation Academy where she graduated in 2011. She then worked as a flight instructor at the same academy for two years before joining Medview Operations in Abuja in 2013, where her career really took off. She started out as a first officer on a Boeing 737 Classic before moving on to a Boeing 767-300ER.
In October 2018, Sowemimo joined Qatar Airways and became the first Nigerian woman to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. When Qatar Airways began its flight to Abuja in 2020, Sowemimo was in the right seat as she assisted Captain Khan Sameer Ali. She expressed her gratitude to God and her family for their support and encouragement throughout her journey. She said, “It is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvellous in my sight.”
The percentage of female pilots in Africa is about 2.4% of pilots being female. Nigeria has about 150 female pilots out of a total of 2,500 pilots, which is about 6%.
Adeola Sowemimo is often recognised as a trailblazer and role model for many Nigerians, especially women and girls who aspire for careers dominated by men. And it is as if Adeola knows about her worth and influence. She said, “I am proud to be a Nigerian woman and I hope to inspire other young girls who have dreams of becoming pilots or anything they want to be. Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself and work hard.”
Aside her professional career, Adeola is a wife and a mother of two children.