By Florence Masunzambwa
A simple dream to fly, borne out of a curiosity in aviation due to his school’s proximity to Charles Prince Airport came to fruition for Chinhoyi born Eleazar Mabunda. The 22 year old Zimbabwean pilot is based in Tanzania and his been making impressive moves in his profession.
An enthusiastic learner and go-getter, Mabunda completed his first solo flight on 12 November 2015 at the age of 17 years old. After tasting the incredible highs of flying and earning his stripes, our Person of the Week has not looked back and recently released a book titled ‘Get away with 3 bars’.
The book was written with foresight and intention to let the people see the world through the eyes of a pilot. ‘How to get away with three bars’ is not only aimed at addressing that but also to inspire anyone who has great ambitions in life.
Mabunda recalls the words of his brother saying to him, “Nothing takes the place of exposure”, and always strives to ;learn, inspire and enjoy every new level he unlocks in his chosen path. He speaks of his school days at Cornway College, a few hundred metres from the Charles Prince Airport.
‘I was not the brightest kid at the time, often found in the third quarter of the class but I had a dream’, says Eleazar. A dream which he, later on, believed in and led him to sharpen his skills and expand his aviation knowledge.
How to Get Away with Three Bars was an idea he conceived during the ongoing lockdown. “My book is aimed to inspire anyone who has great ambitions in life, whether doctor, lawyer, artist”, he says.
He emphasized the point that all dreams are valid and by sharing how his own dreams crystallized, he hopes to inspire someone and remind them that they too can make it. One of his favorite authors, Paul of Tarsus said, “I don’t mean to say I am perfect or that I have learned all that I should (yet) but I keep working toward finally becoming what Christ wants me to be.”
“Flying is a lot of fun but believe it or not, a lot of pilots would kill to have a desk job just once in their career. My day usually starts with an early morning drive to the airport. Unbeknown to many people, the pilot is only able to work when you’re working and can afford to travel or vacation. So apart from your immediate family, your biggest well wisher in these difficult times is your pilot. We can’t wait for you to get back on your feet again and for us to fly you where you cannot reach on foot.
Getting to where he is now took a lot of work as one would expect of apilot. After his solo unaided flight, he went on to complete the 15 minute flight safely. His Next milestone was when he passed the commercial pilot license test, three years later.
“It was a big achievement for me because I had faced so many obstacles along the way, which I explain in detail in my book. Upon completion of my training in Dec 2018, I was subsequently awarded the “Commercial pilot of the year” accolade by Algoa flying club.
With inspiration coming in many forms, for Elazear it was his dad who believed in him when it was still a dream.
“When you achieve something, it ceases to be just about you, it’s now also about that young girl who was told she would amount to nothing, who now gets to say my son’s a pilot. It’s also about the younger siblings who are stuck in between high school and tertiary education, wondering if this global pandemic will ever end. It is them that need to see and believe that if it came to pass for him, then this too shall pass. For their sake, I cannot fail. In a way, they propel me forward.”
Looking forward, he cannot wait to put this lockdown era behind and resume his new job in East Africa and explore that part of the world and is already mulling on writing his next book.
“I cannot wait to publish my next book. Barely a week after releasing my first book, already my hands are itching to start writing another. Ideas are rushing through my head and I have so much to tell. It will be a continuation from “How to get away with three bars,” so do make sure you get a copy of that amazing book. To give you a bit of some insight, It will be about life after three bars and I can’t wait to share the story with you.”
Eleazar Mabunda also offers his time and experience with younger pilots and does a number of youth based empowerment programs. He also expresses a passion to assist others and see communities flourishing.
“YOU ARE CAPABLE, just get started. If you’d like to learn more about his journey then please do get a copy of his book from “Smashwords.com” titled “How to get away with three bars.”