When she turned 18 she picked up an application form to join a flight school but her mother said it cost too much and encouraged her to apply to universities instead.
“She’d bring me applications‚ but I kept hiding them under my bed and telling her I got rejected. I found an internship with a glider company and used my stipend to buy my first pilot’s uniform.”
And that’s when her mother realised Katisi was serious about flying.
“Mom tried her best to pay for flight school‚ but we kept running out of money.”
At one stage Katisi cut adverts out of magazines and newspapers and made a note of every brand in the pantry at home. “I sent all of them letters‚ asking for help. Almost everyone said ‘no’.
“But I did receive an amount from a grocery store called Pick n Pay. And Breitling sent me a brand new watch to raffle. That was a huge break. I sold six hundred raffle tickets. Things were going so well. African Pilot magazine promoted the raffle for free.
“A man from Australia bought 100 tickets. But then I got a letter from the Lottery Board ordering me to end my raffle. They said it was illegal. I tried to explain that I was raising money for my education‚ but they didn’t care. I was so disappointed. I’d have to sit out another year of flight school‚” Katisi said.