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Captain Chipiliro H. Mponda

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Captain Chipiliro H. Mponda


Meet Captain Chipiliro Hellen Mponda. She is only 27 years but already a captain and sailing across the beautiful and crystal fresh waters of Lake Malawi currently with the Ilala. She comes from Mangochi District.

She has been a captain since June 2010 after finishing her courses. She holds Advanced Diploma in Marine navigation and Master Class III Certificate of Competency at Malawi Marine Training College in Monkey bay.



Control room


She has always loved challenges and that is one of the reasons she decided to join the marines. Her first option has always been engineering but due to other circumstances settled for this. Her mum will always be remembered for the support she gave her and encouragement to be able to do anything in this world even if it means the job is male dominated field. She achieved her dreams.


She has been sailing on both passenger and cargo ships as a second mate since 2010. In 2012 she qualified as a Master Class II. She worked as a first mate between 2012 and 2014 in ships like M.V. Katundu, M.V. Chilembwe as well as M.V. Ilala. In 2014 she sat for her Master Class I Certificate of Competency which she passed to become a qualified captain.



The best way to start the day - good breakfast with the team

She also briefed us (Travel Malawi Guide) of some of the challenges she encounters during work. One of which is the fact that the industry is a male dominated. Most of the times she is working with men and they have to take orders from a female captain. Most men find it hard to take directive orders from a woman. At times she fails to work in other ships due to accommodation.



Captain Mponda worked as a Chief Officer alongside Captain Daniel Ngwira.


Captain Mponda loves traveling and seeing new places and meeting new people. This job jives her just that. She is a very happy person every time she sails from Monkeybay all the way to Karonga and back safely. Every time passengers get on board and arrive at their given destinations safely is what she loves to see.



Passangers safely arriving at one of the ports.

She would like to encourage fellow women to take up the challenge and join in all male dominated industries. She understands it will not be easy but the challenge is what would make the job interesting. Her wish is one day sail and commands a ship as a captain alongside a fellow female Chief Engineer.



The only female engineer - Maria Mkwaso on the ship during the trip



Captain Mponda sharing a joke with Captain Daniel Ngwira during the trip


Captain Mponda loves reading books, watching movies and spending time with family and friends in her free time.



Safely arriving back at Monkeybay port. Insert from left - Captain Mponda, Peter J Makwana representing the Travel Malawi Guide Team and Captain Daniel Ngwira.


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