Aviation Pioneers

Gamuchirai Maria Mbigi, First Woman Who Received the Sword of Honor Award in Zimbabwe

Women in every industry achieve many great things to move these industries forward. Aviation is one of those industries which witnessed major success achieved by talented and smart women in it. It is very important to recognize this success of women in aviation in so many ways. First of all, men outnumber women in the field of aviation sadly, just like in many other industries. This is why, seeing more female pilots in this field can help this industry change for the better. Also, it can set a great example for other women to thrive in whatever field they are working in. Today we are going to talk about one of these women who set a great example for success, for women from all around the world; Gamuchirai Maria Mbigi. We are going to learn about her life, successes and what the future may hold for this brave aviator.

Early Life Of Gamuchirai Maria Mbigi

There is not much information about the details of the early life of Gamuchirai Maria Mbigi. But it is know that Gmauchirari Maria Mbigi was born in 1996 in the city of Gweru, the third largest city of Zimbabwe. The town she grew up in was Shurugwi, which has many good high schools in it.  Gmauchirari Maria Mbigi went one of those schools, Tangogara High School, which had very successful graduates who served their country in the best way possible.

Looking at the fact that she graduated very successfully and became a pilot, we can say that she was a successful high school student. Also, we can infer that she had a passion for aviation as a child. Because at a very early age she went on to study in order to become a pilot. Later, she applied to be a part of the Air Force of Zimbabwe. Mbigi was the top of her class in the air force which had only 4 other female students in a class of 20.

Gamuchirai Maria Mbigi’s Success

The most significant success of Gamuchirai Maria Mbigi is her being the first female student who recieved a Sword of Honour Award. Besides getting the Sword of Honour Award, she also recieved a $5000 prize, too. First lady of Zimbabwe, Auxillia Mnangagwa, handed this prize herself to Mbigi in the dinner hosted in her honor.

The Sword of Honor Award is given to officers in the Air Force of Zimbabwe for showing outstanding performance when training to become a pilot. Until Gamuchirai Maria Mbigi has received this award, there weren’t any women who qualified to get it. Therefore Mbigi has achieved an astonishing feat, both for the women of her country as well as women in aviation and other industries.

What The Future May Hold For Her

Right now Mbigi is an officer in the Air Force of Zimbabwe and she is just 26 years old. As a young aviator she has many years ahead of her to achieve many other incredible feats. Looking at her successful training, we can say that she may have a very bright future.


Staff reporter (11 September 2021), Female pilot makes history, Bulawayo 24 News, Retrieved 10 April 2022

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