A Nigerian Pilot, Ademilola Odujinrin, who just completed his solo flight round the world, therefore becoming the first African to fly solo round the world has disclosed that bad weather almost truncated his plan of flying, just as he added that he lived on water and energy bars during the journey.
The flight is part of Project Transcend, a foundation which aims to inspire young people to achieve their goals, regardless of their personal circumstances.
The pilot lamented that the journey across the five continents, tagged ‘One Man One Plane One World,’ lasted nine months, noting that the journey was elongated by weather, technical and financial challenges.
Vanguard report that the solo flight flagged-off by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, began in June 2016 and ended on March 29, 2017. The tour saw the 38-year-old pilot traversing the world on a single engine aircraft from United States to Iceland then Europe and into Africa via UAE, India, and Asian subcontinent.
Odujinrin, who shared his experience in Lagos, weekend, said that he embarked on the journey to inspire Africans to achieve greatness in their chosen field. Undeterred by the setbacks, he said; “Some of my biggest motivation was the support I got from my team and prayers from people like Ooni of Ife. But I will like to add that the fear of failure is one of my motivations.
“Another very challenging part of the journey was the weather. For instance, I was stuck in South East Asia for two months due to bad weather,” the pilot added. On why the project that has drawn global attention to Nigeria was not backed by government or relevant authorities, Ademilola disclosed that he was turned down by public agencies. His words; “I approached the authorities but they didn’t show support and I think this was due to people around the key figures.
“Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of one day flying around the world. We have a responsibility to lead by example and follow our dreams. I want African children to think: ‘I can do this too!’
Fundamentally, I do not think they saw me as somebody capable of flying round the world.” He also has the lofty hopes to reshape the perception of Nigeria through great achievements that defy expectation and to redefine the African narrative.