County commissioner nursing a pilot dream

Kimberly juggles assistant county commissioner duties with aviation studies. Capt Maseka Kithinji Kimberly Champagne is a vibrant 26-year-old who is not only a pilot by training but an Assistant County Commissioner based in Laikipia County. Growing up as an only child, her parents noticed her interest in aviation at an early age. “I am reminded of how I would recite the entire Kenya Airways fleet growing up,” she says. She went to High school in Juja Senior School. While still a high school student, she took part in a holiday programme that allowed high school students to learn aviation. Her dream to become a pilot came to an abrupt end when the teacher facilitating the programme died. After completing high school, she proceeded to pursue a degree in International Relations at the United States International University. Her passion for aviation did not die. After university, she revived her pilot dream. “I am currently working hard to finish my license, no matter how long it will take me,” Kimberly asserts. One of her many other passions apart from aviation is community work. She was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to become an Assistant County Commissioner (ACC). Part of her work is to implement government policies targeting local communities in her area of jurisdiction. The job has allowed her to work with different people from all walks of life. To Kimberly, the position as an ACC is intertwined in many ways with the aviation industry. “My background in aviation is an advantage that allows me to have a seat at the table in discussing policies that affect the aviation industry directly,” she says. “I enjoy working in my role and learning from my seniors who are eager to teach me new aspects of the job.” Her future plans include completing her license and being an example to young people. She wants them to know that one does not need to confine themselves to a single profession. “If you are in a professional work space, you can also make time to do some of the things you love and enjoy,” Kimberly stresses. As a woman in aviation, she is proud to be a part of Girls in Aviation Africa which is one of the most impactful spaces within the industry that mentors young girls. GIAA has expanded her view of what being an aviator is all about. The writer is the founder Girls In Aviation.