Monday September 21, 2020 
  Marcelle Roujade 
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 Female commercial pilot  889 

At a Pilot’s exhibition in London I was privileged to be able to speak to some young pilots in training. Below is a conversation I had with a young lady in training.

From a female prospective how easy was it to get into aviation?

When applying, I didn’t find being a female held me back- the reason I applied because I wanted become a pilot. There aren’t that many females pilots due to the fact only 5% word wide and this is a motivating factor for me to break down that barrier.


Who inspired you to becoming a commercial pilot?

I am the first of my family to become a commercial pilot- It really started when I was a child; it is something I always wanted to do. I love flying; it’s not a 9 to 5 job. I love being in the cockpit and see the world. It’s not the job but I guess it’s the lifestyle that I aspire to have.

Do you have the support of your family?

My father is certainly my biggest spoke person. He is always pushing me. He is always there for me.

How is your training at the moment?

I almost finished I am now doing my IR ( Instrument Rating) it will be a few more months then I will do my MCC (Multi Crew Coordination) after that I will be applying for jobs.

As a female pilot- do you see yourself on the same level as your male peer?

Airline could do more to recruit more female pilots- I know they are trying the redress the gender balance. In term of my training I don’t think is harder.

How easy would it be to find a job when you finish your training?

I don’t think it will be easy to find a job- Airlines have high standard that you need to reach. I believe there are lots of openings available. Whether it is easy to get those openings I believe it is arguable. It is the same level of difficulty but more opportunities.

A big thank you to all who to talk to me and answer my questions during the exhibition.

Good luck with your dreams. Live the dream- Fulfill the ambition-

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 How I became a Pilot by Hashaun  825 


My name is Hashaun Adderley. I am 24 and currently live in Nassau, The Bahamas. I have about 48 hours total flying time. I currently hold a private pilot airplane single engine land license. I also hold an aircraft dispatcher certificate. I earned my pilot license at the age of 24 and earned my aircraft dispatcher certificate at 23.
My private pilot flight training was completed at Wayman Aviation Academy at North Perry Airport near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Gleim Private Pilot test prep was used to prepare for the knowledge test. I took the knowledge test at American Flyers, Pompano Beach, Florida.

My background in aviation is a lifelong journey. I grew up around airplanes. My father worked in aviation his whole career, starting as a line mechanic at the national flag carrier, to becoming the Director of Maintenance, a Safety Inspector for the Civil Aviation Authority
to now being an aviation consultant for the government.
As a child he would often carry me to the airport and into the hangar of the airline he worked for to show me around the aircraft. In fact, one of my earliest memories of life is drawing airplanes on computer paper. As I grew older I read about airplanes all the time, played flight simulator and became an airplane photo junkie. Once I became 15 I was able to get my first summer job at the airport cleaning inside the airplanes of a small charter company. Over the years I eventually worked as a ramp agent, customer service agent, marketing coordinator and am now currently a flight dispatcher. I’ve got to see a few different sides of aviation and many more experiences lie ahead.

To inspire young people to go into aviation
I would use photography and videography. 
Captivating imagery can convey an encouraging message that can be sent to the future generation about the benefits and future possibilities of aviation. As an aviation photographer I love to share photos and videos I have made about aircraft and have always enjoyed talking to others about aviation. Interviews about experienced people in aviation tend to be very inspiring as this shows an individual’s backstory and how they got into aviation. This helps whoever is listening to see how the person being interviewed story relates to theirs, often inspiring them to continue on the path into aviation.

Working in different areas helps you to appreciate the coordination required for this business.


Now as a flight dispatcher, I get a front row seat to how airline operations move and am earning priceless experience.


Many thanks Hashaun for sharing your experience. Wishing all the best.



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 Flying in West Papua with Susi Air  1090 


From time to time we are gifted with special moment. My trip to West Papua in Indonesia was one of those moments. After some long hours we landed at Rendani Airport in Manokwari the capital of West Papua, New Guina. I was previleged to vist New Guina one of  the world’s few remaining unspoiled places.

 Anggi West Papua

When my son said come and fly with me, never I imagined the thrill of the adventure. We flew from Manokwari to Anggi. For me it was sightseeing joyride over jungle-covered mountains.  All I could see was dark green jungle with cocoa-coloured river running through.
When we landed in Anggi  my heart missed a beat as the landing strip is a manmade strip. 
Nevertheless I was happy to land and meet the local. As a matter of fact they were more curious about me as I was about them.
I was happy to be invited to visit the houses along the landing strip.

 Merdey Airport West Papua

Taking off from Anggi we flew over the famous “Anggi Lakes” on our way to Merdey. Just before we landed there, my son  in the most cheeky voice, told me that the next leg of the flight is full  so they are leaving me behing with the local- Thinking they were joking, I said ok that would be fun.
Actually I spend some amazing time with the locals at Merdey airport. Again I was thrilled when the local chief who was the only English speaking person took me to visit the houses.

While waiting for my son and his co-pilot to pick me up, I realised how lucky I was to be able to visit such amazing places.

For more :

 Flying over Manokwari
 Cocoa coloured river
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 Aviation is buzzing  1043 

There is no better time than now to realise your ambitions and work in the aviation industry. Aviation is buzzing, and every aspect of the industry is growing. 
It is a global industry and has excellent opportunities in every sector. Being very exciting, changing all the time.  
What are the future prospects in Aviation?
The aerospace sector is probably the fastest growing. It incorporates, design, management, robotics, manufacturing, and data science, etc.
To make a really great personal decision you can choose Aviation, this can be the best decision of your life. 
I have had the opportunity to speak to many people in the industry at the Professional Flight Training Exhibition.

To quote my interview with Richard and Ali at the exhibition who were friends with a passion for flying.
Raymond spoke enthusiastically about his love for a simulator and his father giving him a floppy disk with the basic graphics for a simulator. Moving on he was able to build his own simulator.

Ali being a commercial pilot flies in the European sector. He has an ICAO licence (International Civil Aviation Organization).
 I learnt about the Civil Aviation Authority and Federal Aviation Administration.
The ICAO interested me. It is a UN agency created in 1944 as The Chicago Convention. It oversees the Convention of International Civil Aviation. 
Aviation is all about passion, friendship, fun and food.


My conversation with Laura. 
Laura is leaning to fly helicopters.
She has a very outgoing personality.
Was it easy her to find a school?
She said: she did her research and found a family run aviation school.  They were excellent instructors and she was happy to work with them.
And choosing between aircraft and helicopters?
She felt that she had more control flying helicopters, and they were easier to manoeuvre, with a quicker control response.
What is she studying now?
Her PPL( Private Pilot Licence).
And finance?
She acquires her finance piece meal.
The family?
The parents are very supportive, and this is very inspiring for her. 


Thank you very much for all your inspiring journeys. 
The aviation industry is fascinating and it buzzes.
 If you are lucky enough to be involved and happy, the rewards are incredible.

 Twice a year there is an exhibition that provides all the vital information on training, qualifications and job prospects in Aviation.  Here airlines, pilot training academies come from across the UK and Europe. 
Also The Royal Air Force, Army Air Corps, Universities and many, flight training experts are ready to talk to wannabe Pilots and Engineers.


Pictures used with permission.

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 Joy of Flying with Captain Sapna Sharma  1286 

This is my first interview with a female pilot. In a two minutes conversation,  I was just fascinated by this amazing lady and by her selfelessness, her passion and joy for flying.

My name is Captain Sapna Sharma. I fly with air India. I fly the Dreamliner Boing 787. Very soon I am due for Command upgrade.

-Why did you become a pilot?
-My father is a pilot too! I grew up seeing him in uniform. That’s what I always wanted to be. In act my brother has also just finished his flying. He is 9years younger than me.

-That is incredible a whole family of commercial pilots.

-Have you all flown on the same flight? If yes in what capacity?
-Nope. You can’t. As an international Civil Aviation rule, same blood relation can’t fly together.

-As pilots is there any competition between you in term of who is the best pilot?
No no. we all differ in our seniority. Dad’s been around for 37 years now, I been in my job for 10 years now and my brother just started. But yes we do keep enhancing each other’s knowledge.

-What advice would you give to a young lady wanting to go in aviation?
-Just dive into it. Sky’s the limit. It’s a beautiful profession to have. Today India has the largest number of lady pilots in the world. And it’s so empowering to be on the controls of the big bird.

Picture : Women's day 2017 - Captain Sapna Sharma flew with an all female crew.


-You are an inspiration to all.
-I truly feel that with proper guidance and effort, many women can change their lives. And One should not feel lesser than any man because it’s not a male dominated profession anymore.



A big thank you to Captain Sapna Sharma for taking the time to answer my questions to share and encourage anyone wanting to go to aviation.
It was a joy talking to her.
Wishing her all the best for the captain upgrade.

Keep flying!!


The interview was done via WhatsApp- with Captain  Sapna in India and me in London.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Air India Picture.
Source : CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Pictures :Courtesy of  Captain Sapna Sharma.

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 The runway to your dream of becoming a commercial pilot! Part 2  1293 

So you got your PPL.
Congratulations!!!! what next?
Where do you go from there?


4)    How can I start my training?

Traditionally, commercial pilots were ex-fighter pilots. Due to the high demand for pilots, training has shifted to many other venues. This includes private flight schools and clubs, aviation academies, and college programs. 
Choose the right venue for your schedule and budget. For example, if you have full-time employment while training to obtain your pilot licences, then a flight school option is perhaps best for you. However, if you are financially capable and interested in obtaining a college diploma besides your training, then an aviation academy or college an attractive option for you.

5)    What are the career paths to becoming a commercial pilot?

At this stage, you have finished your training and all the hard work and sweat has paid off. Now what? You are looking for your first job to start logging flight hours while gaining valuable experience. Getting your first job is challenging, but with sufficient preparation and great job-hunting skills, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish. 
Landing your first job starts before you finish flight training! Networking is vitally important early on. Get to know people, go flying with your peers, and talk with other pilots as much as you can. Subscribe to your local magazine and stay informed of what is going on in the industry around you. 
Young graduate pilots usually start flying commercially by being flight instructors, teaching others while gaining experience. Other career paths include bush flying, jump pilot flying (flying skydivers), banner flying, and air taxi flying. 

Thank you to Amr for a great article giving us great insight on what it takes to become a commerciat pilot.

Do you want to contribute? Leave message in comment box.

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 The runway to your dream of becoming a commercial pilot! Part 1  2459 

Many of us dream to be pilots flying from one destination to the other for a living. It is a dream for a lot of young people who are still in the dilemma of what to pursue for a career. Despite the challenges and hurdles one will face through this journey, beinga pilot is exciting, breathtaking and filled with immense responsibility. Based on my own experience in becoming a licensed pilot, here are five points to consider in becoming a pilot.

1)    Determine if aviation is your passion

It is good to know if aviation is your passion or whether you at least have a strong interest for it. Check your toys and interests early on in your childhood. Do you recall enjoying a long gaze at aircrafts sweeping the skies or reading books about aviation? If so, then these are great indicators of a strong interest in aviation. Passion is a great asset to help pursue your dream with happiness and success.

2)    Take a discovery flight at your local airport

Check the local airports around your neighborhood. Find local flight schools that offer “Pilot for the Day” packages. I highly recommend investing in one of those flights. It is a great way to get a feel for flying while learning more about the training scheme and life of a student pilot. Discovery flights involve an hour or so flight with an instructor introducing you to different aircraft systems and operations. Don’t forget your camera and sunglasses! 


3)    Licenses required

In order to become a commercial pilot or later an airline pilot, you will be required to complete multiple licenses and ratings. 
Your first license will most likely be your Private Pilot License (PPL) followed by some ratings such as Night Rating to allow you the privilege of flying at night, Multi Engine Rating, allowing you to fly more than one engine aircraft, and Instrument Flight Rating (IFR Rating), in order to fly in inclement weather and visibility using aircraft instruments with no visual reference. Next is your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) which generally requires a minimum 200 hours of total flight time.
Congratulations! Now you are legally able to go find your first job. Upon completing some additional hours and testing requirements you will be eligible to write your Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) exams.
It is worth noting that the ratings and the licences mentioned above can be completed at different phases depending on your school offerings, your schedule, and your career goals.

However, the PPL is your first milestone! 

Amr is a young, passionate aviator residing in Canada. He is a commercial pilot and a junior mechanical engineer specializing in aerospace. He enjoys motivating and mentoring others toward pursuing their dreams of flying and other career goals

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 Living your dream, fulfilling your ambition  1771 

It was an inspiring moment for Eury Caldwell and I to be invited by the Black Pilots of America to take part in the General Meeting in Atlanta in January.
We were privileged to be with pilots whose aim are:
•    Providing a platform for everyone to learn to fly and to pursuit a career in aviation.
•    Teaching youth about aviation and fulfilling their dreams
•    Experience the fun of flight and the beauty of the sky
•    Promoting careers in aviation and achieving one’s aspirations
•    Giving opportunities to experience different aspects of aviation
•    Becoming a role model and pioneer, inspiring the next generation

 The thrill, the gratitude and the appreciation of a dream being realised with people that love aviation was inspiring and getting to share and hear the passions and stories was a moving moment.



Learning to fly

I have the pleasure to talk to Horace Noble who’s grandfather came from Shepherds Bush in West London.
Horace joined the BPA when it started in 1969. He used to fly for fun and recreation, he just wanted to soar like a bird. Over the years he owned 38 airplanes.
Flying, he said was the most exciting and rewarding thing I ever done. He stopped flying at the tender age of 74.


The love of flying is contagious in the Hicks family. John Hicks from the BPA with his daughter Audrey and granddaughter Alicia.

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 How I became a pilot  1726 

When I was a young child I started dreaming about flying. Of course at that time, it was difficult not to, as my mother worked for an airline and I often travelled with her.

As I grew up that dream stayed with me.

When I was in school, I became very interested in Math, science and music. There was not much about flying, except the magazines my mum brought home.

While on a plane I was invited to take the control I knew then what I wanted to achieve.

My parents never crushed my dream of becoming a pilot. When I was 16yrs I have my first flying lesson.
In my case flying was expensive.

But I went on a news paper round to earn some money for the lessons. The Christmas box at the Millionaire’s houses was good.

By the fact I did this, it inspired my parents to back me for my flying lessons which included my degree in aviation studies.
How about you? Do you have anyone helping you develop your dream into a reality?

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 Aerobility : Become a flyer  5957 

What is the purpose of Aerobility?
Our purpose at Aerobility is to facilitating flying access to disabled people.
This involves building confidence and self-esteem- living outside the box. We voice events to educate, to remove barriers and perception. We promote aviation, through guidance.


Who comes here?
The clients have to have disability or impediment.  Groups from school and people over a wide age range.
From example a young pilot came here, he was on Mont Everest, hiking and when he got malaria and had problems with his hands and legs. He came to us to teach him how to use his arms and legs to fly.
We trained any one to fly. My role is safety.
I started here in 2008 said Mike Miller-Smith, CEO of Aerobility, we trained a great number of people with every conceivable disabling condition to achieve their license we average 20 students a month.  Here we have people with all types of disabilities.

What is the difference between Aerobility and regular schools?
Here we have to find different ways to help people overcome their disability.
We have a student with cerebral palsy- we try to work out how to teach him to achieve his license.

How many students from here would go and work for main airlines?
Not many. RAF pilots who have been injured come here and we re-trained them.


Are there any commercial pilots that are disabled?
Yes, there are.

What about the medical tests?
We have the same standard test as anybody else.
A disabled person has a similar test to able-bodied, even stricter. Its agenda is centered on: if they can do manoeuvres and fly safely. My first two students have around 20 hours of flying time each. One of them had a motorbike accident and broke his neck, the other has MS and they are now flying.

How challenging it is for students to get in and out of the aircraft?
A hoist is used, the planes have hand adapted control, once in the air, and everything is possible.

What is the most amazing transition you saw in your students?
There are two categories of clients here, insured pilots, who come here to retrain and to fly as disabled pilots and disabled people with no training. The most amazing transition was someone had not confident it took hours before he was able to take off on his own.  When landed the transformation on his face: priceless.
The whole point of being here is to fly. To quote a student:  I can’t drive a car but I can fly a plane.
What do you offer the students?
We offer a trial flight and after which that they come back for more lessons and their private license. We also have a combination of aviation experiences: flight simulator, educational projects and tours. Our aviation education programmes are in- depth sessions, we teach skills which can also be used in all aspects of living.

What type of aircraft are you using?
We have a range of aircraft: Tecnam, Piper and Yak.

How long does a flight take from beginning to end, what preparation is needed?

You start with a cup of tea, then a briefing on the flight path and weather pattern and talk them through to give them confidence.


What is it like when they take off?
Sheer enjoyment. They just enjoy the time, it a magical moment for them to achieve their dream. To fly.


Thanks to Mike Miller-Smith MBE CEO Aerobility and his team for letting us come and visit.
For more information on Aerobility check their website.


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 Battle of Britain  2540 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

The Battle of Britain was big celebration, a display of Tiger Moth, Harvard and of course Spitfire.

I had the privilege to meet the proud owner of the Spitfire and asked him a couple of questions. 

-How did you manage to get hold of a Spitfire? 

-I just wanted one. If you want something badly you find a way to obtain it.

-Can people hire the Spitfire?

-Yes we have people coming and fly with us, we have a number of commercial pilots coming as well.


Display of vintage cars and shelters- A reminder of what it was like during the war.

Everyone thinks of the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain, but a number of planes took part.

Tiger Moth, Harvard and Hurricanes played an important part.

As this year is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, celebration with amazing flying display featuring representative aircrafts of the era. 

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 Monday Question time  2377 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

Had an interesting chat with my son this morning and the conversation went something like that:
-I had a great day today.
-Good, what happened? I asked
-Well, I flew all day and now I am sipping coconut juice while watching the sunset.
-That’s great son.
Then he carried on, 
-I am happy, I love flying, I have no stress, it's just great. Life is good.

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 Fight or Flight  2126 
    by : Varnia Fisher   

Ricky leaned towards the bathroom mirror and stroked the shadow on his chin.  Should he shave today or not?  Perhaps he shouldn’t treat today any differently from the others.  It might help his nerves.   He studied his face. With the exception of the sprouting facial hair and a few faint lines there was little difference from the face that looked back at him 10 years ago.

His thoughts wandered back to the overcrowded classroom.  Ricky remembered the sun streaming through the windows directly into his eyes.  He recalled the giggles of his young peers.
“And what about youuu Richard?” The old woman was asking.  She always drew that word out longer than the others. Miss Teresa glared at him.   Through squinted eyes he watched her approach his desk.  
“Well?” she asked.
“I’m going to be a pilot.” Ricky shifted in his seat and blinked through the sun light.  
 “Is that so?” Miss Teresa pursed her lips. She loomed over the desk and studied him. The corners of her mouth slid downward.
“Yes ma’am,” Ricky said.
She leaned closer and placed her hands on his desk.  “You think you could do that Richard?”  She leaned in again but he did not move back. Miss Teresa narrowed her eyes and exhaled.  
“Yes ma’am”, he said.  Ricky was used to this exchange. He looked in her eyes.  Her face seemed to be in a permanent scowl.  Her delight seemed to come from unsettling students and last week she made Claire Harmond cry.  

There are two responses Miss Teresa thought.  One means you win, the other means you lose.  She continued to look at the boy.  “You think you’re smart enough to be a pilot?” she said tilting her head. Two responses.  Fight or flight. That’s what her father taught her.   One means you win, the other means you lose.    “Well?” she repeated.  “Yes ma’am” Ricky whispered.  He looked at her pale veiny hands, her fingers spread apart on his desk.  He wondered how old she was.  How long did it take for the blood to circulate through a body that age?
Miss Teresa stood back from the desk, turned and walked toward the front of the class room.  “Hmph,” she said to no one in particular.  “Richard, youuu will be nothing more than a common labourer.”

Now standing across from the mirror Ricky stared at himself.  FAA's rules for getting a pilot's license differ depending on the type of aircraft you fly.  On average, a pilot license takes around 60 hours to complete.   “I will pass this test” he said to his reflection.  The costs associated with earning a pilot license vary depending on the type of pilot license.  “I’ll pass it.  I will pass this test”
“Hmph” Ricky thought stroking his chin. He would definitely shave.  It was a special day.

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 Interview with Nathaniel Peat  2032 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

Why did you want to become a pilot?
For as long as I can remenber I was always fascinated by airplanes. I dreamed one day of being able to fly them. The fundamental purpose of me wanting to fly was to fulfill a dream. When I became a pilot, this dream was made a reality.
You should never let your dreams become regrets and this is the ethos I always had at the back of my mind throughtout my entire training.
No matter what obstacle faces you in this life you can obtain the highest heights, despite limitations, despite the skin colour, despite finance, and despite situations you can do it.
If you have determination to reach the goal of becoming a pilot you must be prepared to work twice as hard, aim for the best and never quit. You have to keep it moving and be willing to make significant sacrifices.

Where did you do your training?
Primarily most of my training was done in USA at what was then known as Delta Connection Acadamy, later I resumed flying in the UK with some bits in between the UK and USA. In the early days I was fortunate enough to gain good operational experience with British Airways which took me to several places around the world.
I trained in the early 2000s; and it was very expensive this was because I trained both FAA licenses and what was then known as JAA (now EASA), it cost me just over one hundred thousand pounds including accommodation, flights, conversions, tests and living expenses.

What advice would you give to a young person wanting to be pilot?
I suggest:

      Start saving as soon as possible
      Have a plan of how you will get there
      Surround yourself with peers that have achieved the dream
      Secure finance from early
      Keep to one school
      Try not to do a modular program
     Try to knock out your VFR/IFR(Visual/Instrument flight rules)flying hours overseas where the weather is better and you are guaranteed to go up more.

Above all Practice, Practice and know your stuff. The only limitation is yourself.

What aircrafts are your favourites?
My favourite aircraft include the B777, B747-400, Learjets and the wonderful KingAir.

An your approach to land?
One of the best approaches to landing that I have seen in the VOR (VHR Omni Directional Radio Range) was an approach into JFK airport, New York. The view of the Statue of Liberty from up top was amazing. First time I saw it was in 2006.

Are you a well-rounded person?
My resume, in no particular order: a musician, a social entrepreneur, an engineer, inventor and practitioner of martial arts.

My long term aim is to part own and fly private jets

My number on mission is to empower people.

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 Interview  2270 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

Black Boy Can't Fly?

 Listen to Marcelle and the story behind Black Boy Can't Fly? in her interview with Gener8te at the studio.



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 Shiri Achu Artist  2243 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   
 The rhythm of life

How does it feel to be creative in differing cultures ?
It feels wonderful. It is extremely thrilling for me to be able to express my love for culture. Particularly the African cultures of : Baforchu, the Maasai and the Yoruba. Part of my work is also inspired by 'Carnival'. It's great to be able to express the colour, movement, and the joy that it brings !

2. Why is there a focus in your work on African imagery ?
One of the aims of my art is to promote African culture to a worldwide audience. It also brings back fond memories for me. I personally, find beauty: in a woman on a journey carrying her child on her back; in the old lady who makes 'atchu' at her dark outdoor kitchen, for her grandchildren; in a young girl climbing a tree and in the beauty of African fabrics. These are images I paint. They are moments when I bury myself in story and culture.

3. What is your interest in African symbols ?
This is a recent development in my art. I am very excited by the response I have had. My understanding of African symbols is that it was used to record secrets. All tribes were familiar with this form of communication, it was mutually understandable. Every little line, triangle or cross said something and conveyed a message. There were hundreds of these symbols. Through my art, I hope that there will be a wider understanding of symbols and their beauty.

4. Why printmaking ?
I love work that is accessible, affordable, and easily transportable. I am pleased and excited that I am achieving the promotion of African Culture Worldwide through this process.

 Allons au marche

5. As you are from Cameroon is there a French connection ?
My work is inspired by the people of Cameroon and the places I grew up. It was a dual culture and this has helped in the development of my work.

6. How do you see your work proceeding ?
I am currently working on the Symbol series and the Queens series. I hope this will substantiate my ability to cross cultures, and extend my ability to have exhibitions.

7. What is important in your art ?
For me, colour and movement are extremely important. It allows freedom of expression and emotion. However, what is most important is the message behind each piece. It should narrate and speak!

8. How does having differing exhibition venues influence your work ?
Differing exhibition spaces appeal to differing people. In the end for me the subject of my work remains the same in that wish to communicate African Culture.




9. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time ?
In 10 years time, I would like to have developed my work in the context of combining architecture and art. Also I would like to return to Cameroon, work towards opening a great art/architectural school, and take up professorship there.

Twitter: @shiriachuart
Website: (Under construction)



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 Talk with a black female pilot  2010 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   
 Female pilot

1. Tell me a bit about your family ?
My name is IC, I was born in London. My mother is from Grenada and my father Nigerian. I have four sisters, of which I am the second youngest. I am living in Shepherds Bush, West London.

2. What make you decide to become a pilot ?
Actually, it was, my mother. I have always loved airplanes and traveling. I thought the plane journey was the most interesting part of a holiday. Once on a return flight my mother asked me what I wanted to do. She said jokingly : «why don't you become a pilot ?» I thought why not. Having taking it seriously, I did research for university offering  aviation course. We had no pilot in the family.

3. What was your root to become a qualified pilot ?
St James and St Clement in West London was my primary school and I was for a short time at Holland Park School. I was at Elliot School in Putney where I did my GCSE and my A Levels (Economics, English and Psychology). Nothing to do with aviation. It was on my A Levels that I decided to pursue a career in aviation. I was told about Kingston University through a friend,  she sent pictures from the course and I recognized a familiar face, someone that I knew from Holland Park School.  I was later at Kingston with him,  he was a year ahead of me. Having studied in Bournemouth  for the ground theory and in Kissimmee (Florida) for the flying part of my training  was interesting. It was the first time I was being away from home.

4. How long did it take you to qualify ?
I began in 2008 until 2013. I am now fully qualified pilot.

5. What is the position of black pilots in airlines ?
They are employed but the main issue is there are not many of us. I like to think pilots are chosen on their skills and academic ability. Being a pilot has nothing to do with ethnicity or gender.

6. What do you think about the relationship between your background and the finance needed to be trained ?
I am quite lucky that my parents have helped me, the finance does exclude a lot of people. My parents have been very supportive in my career.

7. Do you enjoy to fly ?
There is a sense of freedom. It is difficult to explain; you get in the plane and can go anywhere. The sky is the limit.

8. How do you see your future ?
I am hoping to get into the business jet market.

9. How does it feel to be a black female pilot ?
Sometimes it can be bit lonely. I have not seen a black female pilot in the UK. I feel I am doing something unusual. I enjoy doing thing others have not done, perhaps being a Captain at BA, this could open up a career for people.

10. Do you think that a young person from ethnic background can be inspired by having a professional in the industry of the same ethnicity ?
Yes. I do think it is important. It would have been good to have colleague with me. I want to lead the way, it would be inspiring.

11. In your experience as a pilot, does your ethnicity have any bearing on your job ?
Everyone has been very welcoming. I have not seen anything negative.

12. Do you feel vulnerable as a pilot in regards to the danger ?
Yes, at the beginning, it is shaky ground. But by building hours you become experienced and more established and in this way less vulnerable.

13. About your peer group, how do they feel about your job ?
They are quite impressed about what I am doing. It is difficult to share with them the intricacy and the nitty-gritty but in general they are very supportive.

14. How would you encourage young people towards aviation ?
I do not sugar coat the facts. It is not easy to get into aviation. It is expensive, but also it can be rewarding. They should go in with open eyes, do research, making sure they know and understand what it is going to be like during training and having qualified. I would advise them to look beyond the advertisements and promises.

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 Portsmouth: A day out of the ordinary  1901 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   
 HMS Warrior

It’s hard to know what to expect when visiting Portsmouth. There was so much to see.

HMS Warrior is Britain’s first iron-hulled armoured warship.

 Action Stations

Fancy a battle with the Royal Marines, command a warship or better fly a helicopter, visit the Action Stations.

 Spinnaker Tower

Situated on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays, the Spinnaker Tower 170 meters above Portsmouth Harbour is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben.

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 A visit to Voyages of Discovery  2066 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   
 Voyages of Discovery

Visiting  Voyages of Discovery in Portsmouth made a wonderful day. Step on board and discover a stylish ship. Voyager is a small ship with accommodation for 540. It has a lot to offer !

 Voyager Portsmouth
 Lido Pool and Bar− Voyages of Discovery
 Lunch on board Voyager
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 Cockpit Conversation  1993 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   
 Great conversation between a pilot and Tower before landing.
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 The Orient Express to Canterbury  1767 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

We traveled on the carriages of the Brighton Belle through the English country side on a fine spring day.

The colours were yellow and white of the blossom as we were served an elaborate brunch, with Scottish salmon and caviar.

We saw aspects of the Kent coast and arrived at Canterbury Station. There we visited Canterbury Cathedral with its stained glass and tombs of kings.
Here Thomas Becket was murdered by the kings’ knights and a shrine to his martyrdom still exists today

On the journey from Folkestone we were served high tea. We had selected sandwiches, cakes and endless cup of tea.

We arrived in Victoria Station at exactly 5:45 not a minute more or less.

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 How to save money  1815 
    by : Marcelle Roujade    [February 28, 2014]
 Saving money

How do you save money ?

This question has been asked many times. There are many ways to do so. At the present time of economic recession it is very important to live within your means.

Tip 1. Write down how much money you have coming in and much going out.
Your income is (any money you have coming in) and your expenses (money you going out).
Did you know there are two types of expenses? Fixed Expenses: rent, travel card, etc. Variable Expenses: going out, buying clothes, entertainment, etc.

Tip 2. Describe in writing your spending habits.
By doing so, you can reduce them, or, find alternatives without compromising on quality and taste.
Make a shopping list and stick to it. Check the cupboards before going to shop.
Do you buy on impulse ? Yes, the bargain is tempting, but do you need it ?

Tip 3. Needs and Wants.
It is important to differentiate between needs and wants, when trying to save money.
We need food, transport etc. Can you do without the latest gadget ? Do you need that new bag, or, do you really want it ?

Tip 4. Make a budget.
What is a budget ?
It is a financial plan made to maximize your finances.

Tip 5. Stick to your budget.

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 Lake Como  2761 
    by : CallMeMishka    [February 18, 2014]

Arriving in Milan at sunrise, we waited at the airport and watched the sunrise over a beautiful city. After managing to communicate in broken Italian to find the coach to take us to the inner city, we began our journey.

Pulling up to Lake Como we were overcome by beauty, miles of green mountain terrain as far as the eyes could see. Dotted amongst the natural green landscape were perfect structures making up the thousands of houses. Centered in the middle of this landscape was the crystal blue lake, jaw-dropping natural beauty.

To travel to the main Como area, an hour ferry ride will allow you to explore Como via the lake. Stopping at several smaller villages on route, each with its own culture and history to discover.

The main area of Como is full of vibrant bars and restaurant serving the freshest Italian foods and the vastest range of wines. The locals welcomed us with open arms and were friendly and helpful.

Written by: CallMeMishka

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 A journey part two  2037 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

Lax to Tokyo 11h35, journey where time is lost and impossible to capture, we left LAX on Sunday and arrived at Narita Japan the next day however we did not see night.

The Hilton Tokyo, in the Shinjuku area, our home for three days 29th floor.


The best part of the journey our day trip to Mont Fuji in Hakone. A panoramic view of Mt Fiji :

Hakone Sky Gondola , a breathtaking scenery of the volcanic Hakone Mountains

Owakudany Valley Sulphurous fume, sulphurous smells, snow covered valley.

Return : from Odawara station to Tokyo by bullet train

A night in Narita

Narita to London : 11h35

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 A journey part one  1991 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

For many of us it is common to dream of exotic places without leaving our comfort. I love everything people hate about traveling. I love the early morning start, or if you prefer the sleepless night, the last check, passport, tickets, money, children, the journey to the airport. The queue at the checking and the same questions that you answer hundreds of time, did you pack you bags yourself? Have they always been with you? Did you leave them unattended? Did anyone give you something to carry question? Then the passport check. Ya name is the same on the boarding pass and then the scanner, take everything off, coat, shoes, laptop.

The duty free shops are worth a visiting, then last visit to the toilet and the long wait for boarding, the last call.

Come with me on my journey, a long trip around the world, to an exotic place I always wanted to visit.

London to New-york 6h45.

Not much to do at such high altitude other than eat, sleep, eat and watch a selection of latest release: Precious, In the Air, and Michael Jackson's This is it.
Beautiful landing in sunny JFK.
A couple of hours of layover, a tour of the airport looking for wireless connection mission impossible

JFK-Los Angeles : duration 5h.35.
It is raining in LA, a quick tour around

Hollywood, to see the last touch for the Oscar on Sunday. Pity we will not be there to see it.
A much needed rest.


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 A bit of an artist  1757 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   
 by Mital Patel

One said you are an artist
So you are a free spirit.
With no limit to your inspiration
Use the sky as a canvas
And the colours of nature as paint.
Let your wondering mind
And your agile hands
Create tapestry of woven images.
In a world where mirrors are dreams,
Words, objects and ideals
You bond together and
From life experiences many stories
Rich in flavours and inviting fragrance
You simmer to a perfect recipe.
One said you are an artist
With a gentle and a free spirit
Turn these dreams into reality.

Painting used with permission.

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 My passion  1903 
    by : Marcelle Roujade   

Some people are bird watching, some go train spotting. From my glazed window I watch airplanes. I am fascinated by those big machines. From an early age, I used to go the airport and watch them landing and taking off. I love the atmosphere at an airport. The long goodbye, the welcome hug. My favourite is the last lover's kiss, the last promising, accomplice smile.

History was made at London airport when the Singapore Airlines flight SQ308 landed into LHR. That plane, the new double-decker aircraft was the first ever commercial flight of the Airbus A380 into an UK airport. It had a scheduled arrival time of 15.05 but was estimated to arrive at 14.50.

As I happened to look over towards the runway around that time, as did so many of us. I saw it. A very Big Bird. So beautiful with the distinctive Singapore airline's emblem on its tail. One of my dreams was to fly on Concorde. Unfortunately this did not materialise.

This time I will make sure I do not miss the boat, well the plane.

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 tags :
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