What can be achieved when minds come together despite their backgrounds? This team of teenagers are attempting the great Cape to Cairo journey in a home assembled plane.
A group of 20 students from diverse backgrounds came together to assemble a four seater Sling 4 plane to attempt a six week long journey covering the 12,000km (7,455 miles) from Cape Town to Egypt.
"The purpose of the initiative is to show Africa that anything is possible if you set your mind to it," said 17-year-old pilot Megan Werner, the brains behind the project.
The Sling 4 was assembled from a kit manufactured by the Aeroplane Factory in South Africa It came with a thousand different parts that took the teenagers three weeks to put together into a fully functional plane.
Des Werner, who is a commercial pilot, said it would normally take 3,000 man hours to assemble a Sling 4. However, when you divide that by 20 motivated teenagers, it takes less than three weeks.
"Looking at the plane, I am so proud of myself, I can't believe what we've done. I feel like this is my baby. I cherish her," said Agnes Keamogetswe Seemela, a 15-year-old from Munsiville township in Gauteng province, in an interview with BBC Africa.
The teenager was involved in putting together the centre fuselage as well as the horizontal and vertical stabilisers. She also recounted how initially people from her community had not believed she was involved in building a plane.
Megan is the brains behind the project through her U-Dream Global Initiative. Those who later joined such as Agnes were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 aspirants.
Six of the teenagers have already obtained pilot's licenses, a feat equivalent to attaining a degree, a great achievement considering some had to also prepare for their final exams coming in October. They will share flying duties in their silver aircraft, which is emblazoned with maps of Africa on both wings together with sponsor's logos.
The team's first stop was in the southern Namibian coastal town of Luderitz. The plane has a six-and-a-half hour flying range. In what promises to be a scenic and breathtaking flight, they will make other stops in Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Malawi (Likoma), Tanzania (Zanzibar), Kenya (Nairobi), Ethiopia (Lalibela) and Eritrea (Asmara).
A support Sling 4 plane flown by professional pilots will accompany the teen flyers, who said they planned to do motivational talks for other teenagers along the way.
Header Image Credits: BBC Africa
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