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South Sudanese Aviation Students in South Africa Urge Parents to Support Youths’ Activities

By Oyiti Pernyang

South Sudanese Aviation Students at Port Elizabeth Madiba School of Flights in South Africa encouraged South Sudanese parents to support their children to pursue careers of their choices.

The students turned up at Port Elizabeth International Airport to bid farewell to South Sudan Women’s Senior National Team upon its departure to Nairobi Kenya after taking part in the COSAFA Women’s Championship 2021 in Port Elizabeth.

Captain Robert Otiya saidthat it was the first time in their entire stay in Port Elizabeth to receive huge wave of fellow South Sudanese in the town. Captain Otiya expressed his happiness to have the women’s team in Port Elizabeth.

“We are very glad to seethe team here and hope to see them again, sincerely this is the big team of South Sudanese that we have seen in this town so far – it is very exciting to have them here, we wish the best for them in their next trial of other competition,” CaptainRobert expressed.

He called on parents back home to encourage and support their girls in sport. He saidgirls should be given equal opportunities as boys.

“I am just asking parents back home to consider giving chances for their girls toshowcase their talents in what they love to do– what I can say regarding Aviation, to become a pilot is not impossible I would like to encourage those who would love do piloting,especially the girls to study hard because piloting requires a lot of commitment, it will be awesome to have many young people from our nation in the aviation industry, it will also be a new generation for aviation industry in South Sudan,” Robert added.

On his part, Captain Oyit Thomas said that girls should be treated equally as boys in all aspects of lives. He urged the parents to support their girls to pursue careers of their choices.

“We just feel very lucky to be here, I wish fans were allowed into the stadium, we would have been available to support and show love that we have for the team and we believe this is not going to be the last, in the near future we can link up again and show our support. I just want to encourage our girls to keep believing in themselves if they want to improve because we believe in them – this is just the beginning for them and I am very optimistic that they will do better next time and also be a very competitive team that we will be more proud of,” Oyiti stressed.

He advised parents to allow their girls to participate in sports.“The current world that we are living in does not discriminate between boys and girls, and anything that a man can do a woman can do as well – it’s true that the genders are different but we are still equal, in the rest of the world women are participating in everything from politics, economic activities and as well as sports – our parents should therefore support and believe in their girls, who knows maybe your girl will make you and the county proud.”

Meanwhile, Samuel Char, an aspiring pilot from Madiba School of Flights applauded the girls for their drastic improvement in the competition.

“We witnessed the matches on television although it would have been spectacular if we had a chance to be in the stadium to cheer them up – we witnessed a great spirit from the girls, starting from the first game to the last, there was really a big improvement which shows that the world has not left us too far behind, we can always catch up – the only thing that we need is a work ethic and a never say die attitude and we can go further.”

Captain Samuel called on the youth back home to refrain from conflict and participate in the nation building.

“My last message to both girls and boys is that never say die,  South Sudan is ours to build, there is nothing better like something that belongs to us that we can be proud of – so, instead of us having conflicts here and there, let us come together and build a South Sudan that we can be proud of, even us here pilots, we are learning with an eagerness that when we go back we can really contribute in a good way not only by flying planes– we are also seeing what are the good things here that we can emulate back home,” Captain Samuel emphasized.

“Everything in life is all about proving yourself that you can do it, dedication matters a lot – I am therefore calling on out fellow youth to refrain from negative things such as drugs, get a skill, do something, put your talent into practice and work hard,” he advised.

The South Sudan Women’s Senior National Team (Bright Starlets) was in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to participate in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Women’s Championship 2021. However the team was knocked off in the group stages of the competition after losing all of its three matches against Botswana, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

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