Kafayat Sanni Biography: Meet Nigeria’s first female fighter jet pilot

Here is the biography and all you need to know about Kafayat Sanni, the first female fighter pilot, who was decorated by the Nigerian Air Force in the year 2019.

Her story is surely an inspiration to all young girls out there.

  • Full Name: Kafayat Sanni
  • Date of Birth: 1997
  • State of Origin:
  • Decorated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
  • Known for: Nigeria’s first female fighter pilot

Kafayat sanni made history on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, when she became the first female fighter pilot in the 55-year-old history of the Nigerian Air Force.

Kafayat Sanni Biography
Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, gives an award to 1st Lt. Sanni Kafayat, 14th Student Squadron student pilot, at the Special Undergraduate Pilot Training Class’s 19-21/22 graduation ceremony Aug. 16, 2019, at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Kafayat is Nigeria’s first female fighter pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Davis Donaldson)

After emerging as the overall best pilot at the NAF 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna State, in 2017, she was sent to the United States of America to train at the US Aviation Leadership Program.

Capt. Christy Martin, Columbus AFB international military student officer, said she was excited to watch Kafayat grow and thrive as the first female fighter pilot in Nigeria. Martin said;

“I think she is going to perform that title well. Sanni has a very bubbly personality and was very positive throughout the whole entire training. Pilot training is a very stressful, strenuous course, but she has always stayed positive.

I think she is very determined and very excited to go back and fly fighters in her country as well.”

Kafayat Sanni Biography Meet Nigeria’s first female fighter jet pilot

Miss. Kafayat is the first that went through regular combat training at the Nigerian Defence Academy to be winged for a fixed wing fighter aircraft.

Upon the completion of the programme, Sanni back and was decorated alongside 12 new fighter pilots at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday October in 2019.

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She grabbed the first female trophy in flying Alpha Jets and others, her colleague, Late Tolulope Arotile, also trained at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa for 14 months, to become the first female combat helicopter pilot.

As she grabbed the first female trophy in flying Alpha Jets and others, considering the task ahead, Kafayat Sanni said:

“I was just lucky to be chosen. It was also my choice. It was what I wanted to do. And I felt that everyone is not supposed to fold their arms and watch what is happening in our country. Everyone could always play their part. So, I did not think there was any reason for me to think that it is not possible for me to actually fly the jet because there was no female that ever flew the jet. I believe I could achieve it and I did.

“It is a privilege for me to be winged as the first female fighter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force. My appreciation first goes to the Almighty God for making this possible for me. It also goes to the Chief of the Air Staff for giving me the opportunity and for making this possible. It will motivate me of course.”

Speaking with Punch, she gave an advice for young girls who would like to take up the brave job with the military. She said;

“The advice I want to emphasise to them is that they should never say no to opportunities. They should always strive to be the best and put in their efforts. They should never look at anything that seems to want to overpower or overshadow them.

For me, you can always attempt things and if they do not work out well; fine. But at every point in time, you just need to put in your best.”

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