Born and raised in the small rural town of Butterworth, South Africa, Linda Ngozwana was brought up in a home that taught her to value the importance of family, faith and education. In 2019, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa. While she was busy with her studies, she has had the opportunity to do her internships at Denel Aviation, Aerosud and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). She has now set her sights on scaling the heights of the aviation industry.
She is currently stationed at Philips Africa Headquarters in Johannesburg, where she works as a Customer Support Engineer in Training for Health Systems under the Customer Support Africa Team.
Linda believes in breaking boundaries and is determined to inspire other young black girls to do the same by leading in the promotion of gender equality and access to quality education. She feels strongly about pursuing these ideals firstly in her workspace, but ultimately in her community where she invests time and money inspiring and mentoring young girl children.
To this end, she is part of Non Profit Organisations (NPOs) which help expose learners from underdeveloped areas around Africa to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). She is currently working with Girls Fly Programme in Africa (GFPA) Foundation, which is an information and educational STEAM programme for primary, high school and post-school learners with a focus on girls. The programme includes the use of design thinking, technology, and innovation to shape, empower, enable and support the next generation of changemakers and problem solvers in the aviation and space industry in Africa.
In recognition of her work, Linda was invited to attend the African Youth Networks Movement, an initiative incubated by the Mandela Institute for Development Studies and Graca Machel Trust for its first regional meeting in Southern Africa (Zambia). The event brought together 80 youth network leads in the SADC region, to interrogate the youth unemployment challenges within education, entrepreneurship, peace and security and political participation. For this event, she led a panel discussion in line with the Education Track, where she explored reforming and strengthening Southern Africa’s education systems to current social and technological developments in order to drive development and competition in the global economy.
As a pinnacle of her work thus far, she has been selected to represent the foundation at the United Nations’ Camp 2030 in New York, September 2021. Camp 2030 is UNITE 2030’s first inaugural hackathon-style “innovation lab” for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Each year UNITE 2030 gathers the world’s most dedicated young leaders with a proven track record of working toward the SDGs to innovate, co-create, and problem solve in order to develop new disruptive solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. During Camp 2030, she will be focusing on the SDG 4 track (Quality Education), and will be innovating alongside fellow SDG 4 advocates from around the world, and meeting experts and professionals who work in the field on this specific SDG track.
Linda dreams of always being actively involved in the development of the knowledge economy and technological advancements in Africa as investing in a knowledge-based economy is the bedrock of innovation, which feeds into the wealth creation and the development of the continent’s economy.