Claim: A Facebook user posted a picture of a pilot, Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo, with the claim that she is the first Nigerian female pilot at Qatar Airways and the first Nigerian woman to fly Boeing 787 for Qatar Airways in 2019.
Verdict: TRUE. Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo is the first Nigerian female pilot at Qatar Airways and the first Nigerian woman to fly Boeing 787 for the Airways back in 2019.
Globally, the aviation industry is dominated by men, women currently hold only 14 % of C-suite roles and account for just 3 % of CEOs across the top 100 aviation organizations worldwide.
But throughout history, women have worked to have a place in the industry, from remarkable women like Raymond de Laroche, who earned the distinction of being the world’s first licensed female pilot in 1910, and Harriet Quimby, a renowned journalist who became the first American woman to obtain a pilot’s license in 1911.
Turning our attention to Africa today, we find inspiring names such as Lieutenant Ouma Laouali (Niger 2015), Aluel Bol Aluenge (South Sudan 2018), Irene Koki Mutungi (Kenya 2014), and Patricia Mawuli (Ghana 2009), who are changing the narrative in the aviation sector.
So when Promise Uzoma Okoro, a Facebook user, shared a photo of Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo, claiming that she is the first Nigerian female pilot at Qatar Airways and the first to pilot the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the tweet garnered so much attention.
The tweet reads, “Congratulations to Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo, the first Nigerian female pilot at Qatar Airways and the first Nigerian woman to fly the Boeing 787.”
As of the time of filing this report, the post has gone viral with over 40,000 reactions, 4700 comments, and 950 reshares, with many people congratulating Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo on her remarkable achievement.
Considering the virality of the tweet, Prime Progress decided to verify the claim made about Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo being the first Nigerian female pilot at Qatar Airways and the first Nigerian woman to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In verifying the claim, Prime Progress first ran a Google search on Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo.
The search revealed here and here that she hails from Ogbomoso, a city in Oyo state, Nigeria. Her journey as a pilot began after she successfully completed her Standard Aviation course in 2010. The following year, in 2011, she obtained her Commercial Pilot license from Sunrise Aviation, Florida.
Adeola joined Qatar Airways, in October 2018, despite it being an airline from a Middle Eastern country known for imposing restrictions on women’s activities. Undeterred, she soared to new heights and made history as the first Nigerian female pilot to fly the Dreamliner, as reported by reputable platforms like TheCable and Nairametrics.
Adeola’s achievements did not end there. In November 2020, she had the honour of piloting the inaugural Qatar Airways flight to Abuja, adding yet another remarkable achievement to her name.
Confirming her identity as the woman in the alleged post, Prime Progress conducted a reverse image search, which unequivocally verified that the woman depicted in the photo was, indeed, Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo.
After perusing different sources, it is true that Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo is the first Nigerian female pilot at Qatar Airways and the first Nigerian woman to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.