Mandla Maseko: The first black African heading into space
A 25-year-old DJ from South Africa is set to become the first black African to go into space. Mandla Maseko is one of 23 people who won a seat on an hour-long sub-orbital trip in 2015.
I first saw an advert for the competition on television and then heard another ad on the radio. I had to send a photo of myself jumping from anywhere, so I chose to jump off a wall and my friend captured me in mid-air. I had to answer a couple of questions and explain why I wanted to go into space. My response was: “I want to defy the laws of gravity, and go down history as the first black South African in space.
I wanted to do something that will motivate and inspire the youth of South Africa and Africa as a whole, and hopefully to some extent, the youth worldwide, and show that it doesn’t matter what background you come from, you can have whatever you want as long as you put hard work and determination into it.
After I go into space I am hoping to finish my civil engineering studies. I had to put them on hold before the competition because I didn’t have enough money to fund them.
I would also like to study aeronautical engineering and hopefully qualify as a mission specialist, and then next time, go to the moon to plant the South African flag there.