Celebrating the international day of women and girls in science

February 10, 2023 | Girls’ Preparatory | Author: Ms Cebolakhe Zondo, Head of Natural Science

This year, we celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with a bang. The Girls’ Preparatory had the privilege of hosting two iconic women who have broken societal barriers for women in science, particularly in aviation. Captain Annabel Vundla and First Senior Officer Refilwe Moreetsi are the first women of colour in the history of South African Airways. Our girls discovered that when it comes to science and technology, women have proven that everybody's dreams are valid, regardless of gender.

Captain Vundla touched hearts when she shared that she used to be the pilot for our beloved late President, Tata Nelson Mandela. She mentioned that the late former president commended her for taking up such an exciting career. Captain Vundla said the former president told her, "I was imprisoned on Robben Island so that you could have an opportunity to study what you want." Long live the spirit of Mandela; what a beautiful gift he left with us.

On the other hand, SFO Moreetsi advised parents to allow their children to study the careers that they desire. This advice came with personal experience; after completing matric, she got a mechanical engineering bursary and after experiencing job shadowing, she declined it. Refilwe always knew that she was passionate about being in the sky and not underground and her mom was in full support of her choices.

Our talented Grade 7 artist, Nikita Strydom, presented the vote of thanks to Captain Vundla and FSO Moreetsi. As a gift for these ladies, she had drawn two breathtakingly beautiful aeroplanes in pink skies. In this way, Nikita cleverly demonstrated that science is not a silo subject, but can be linked to art.

Finally, we are so grateful to Dr Drake, Mrs Mngambi and Miss Walters, for supporting all our science department proposals.