Meet Borno’s Princess Maira who started flying planes at age of 17


For young princess Maira of the Kanuri Royal Family of Borno, flying has always been a lifelong dream.

According to her, she had always been intrigued by seeing take-offs and landings and watching aeroplanes soar in the sky.

On the 11 of September 2012, Maira Bashir El-Kanemi took to the skies for the first time, flying an aircraft. As at that time, she was just 17. She later became a qualified pilot at 18 after getting both her private and commercial licenses from 43 Air School and Mach 1 Aviation Academy, respectively.

Although, when she started, she was the youngest, was very nervous, and also questioned herself if she truly made the right career choice, but she dealt with the doubt, and her determination and zeal to achieve her passion made her fight, overcome and succeed.

She is also a certified drones pilot.

“It was very ecstatic; words can’t truly express how I felt. Flying for the first time was magical, and a dream come true. It is a moment and a day I will forever cherish”, she said during an interview.

Her determination and success is an inspiration to every girl-child. Despite the deterrence against women in a male-dominated profession, she is blazing through it all, not letting the obstacles stop her from achieving her goals, visions and dreams. Helpfully, the Kanuris are not known for discrimination against women.

She says the best part of flying for her is the views and serenity she enjoys while flying in the sky, and the toughest part is the uncertainty of how safe it is up in the sky, and landing the plane back safely.

She advises young women is, “You should believe in yourself. Whatever you want to do, you should do it because you want to, not because someone else did it. If you can dream it, then you can certainly achieve it.”


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