Friday 18 June 2021
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First Namibian on AirAsia crew

Born and raised in Grootfontein, Biolla Rukoro recently made history by becoming the first female from the African continent to become an all-star flight attendant for AirAsia.
AirAsia is a Malaysian low-cost airline, it is amongst the biggest airlines in Malaysia by fleet size and destinations and has for the tenth time this year been named as the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline.
Rukoro(26) describes herself as a small town girl that never envisioned finding herself on the AirAsia team. Little did she know that a career in aviation would be part of her future.
“It all started off when I found myself in Malaysia on a three year scholarship, this is when I realised that if I wanted to make more out of life, I needed to get out of the comfort zone because nothing ever becomes fruitful in a place of comfort,” she said while proudly looking back on her journey.
Having completed her degree in broadcasting, as much as she wanted to be as excited about getting her qualification, Rukoro in an interview told The Patriot that she was terrified to come back home due to the economic state Namibia was in.
Well aware of the unemployment epidemic Namibia faced then and still continues to face, she regarded herself as another statistic and realised that she had something to give.
“When I left Namibia for Malaysia a few years ago, I left with one thing in mind and that was to return back home after having made something out of myself which also included making my mother proud. I hoped of becoming someone who was to have a career, however I was purely dependent on what opportunities presented themselves my way and opted to dive into the pool of other career opportunities,” she notes.
She added: “This is not an easy career to get into especially considering the fact that I am a foreigner and I constantly having to prove myself.
Being a foreigner gives one very limited access to the right opportunities and seeing how extremely demanding and challenging the aviation industry is, I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.
Asians in general are not as open and welcoming to foreigners unless you are good at your work, so it took me a good while to break through that barrier and into the aviation industry.” Rukoro explained.
Rukoro first landed a job with Korean Air as a customer service representative, which she did for over two years.
This, she described, created the platform to break beyond the barriers and she underwent a cabin crew training course at the Cabin Crew Academy in Kuala Lumpur for three months.
“Acquiring funding was a challenge but I had to work as much as I could to get the fund to pay for the school.
There would be days where I would only sleep for four hours and it got to a point where I ended up asking myself if it was even worth it.
Little did I know that every sacrifice, every sleepless night and every tear would turn into something as fruitful as being the first and only African the airline has hired to date” Rukoro highlights.
Working for the airline is an opportunity Rukoro deems important because she is now able to represent the African continent on an international level.
“I believe that this will now create a platform where other Africans are now accorded the opportunity to also tap into getting into the industry. Africans should no longer shy away from wanting to apply for jobs abroad because all dreams are valid no matter where we come from.
Not many people in Asia know of Namibia and I am now able to share a little of my home country,” she said proudly.
Rukoro concluded her interview by noting that getting a job abroad will never be easy but has urged her countrymen and women to always put themselves out there through extensive networking.
“People usually find it ideal to stick to what they know, this will also include the people they know but it’s good to make friends from different backgrounds and those with good reputations.
It is important to remember that opportunities will not always be handed on a silver platter, therefore we should continue to research, network, submit resumes among other things to create these opportunities for ourselves. Never put a limit to how great you can be.” said Rukoro.

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