Cape Town – A Zimbabwean has recently become the first refugee to receive a tandem rating in paragliding, meaning he is certified to fly with people.
Aloise Marume, 33, moved to South Africa in 2009 in search of a better life and work opportunities, leaving his wife Sabina Magadu, 25, behind.
“I left Zimbabwe because of the economic crisis it was facing and initially found work part-time as a paragliding porter, carrying various paragliding equipment for people engaging in the sport,” Marume said.
“I did this until 2011 and thereafter I started working with a guy named Peter Wallenda, the owner of a company called Wallend-Air Paragliding School, an organisation that aims to promote the sport in South Africa.”
In 2012, Wallenda started teaching Marume to paraglide and by the end of the year, he had received his basic paragliding piloting licence, which meant he would be able to fly by himself around certain sites in South Africa.
“At the beginning of 2014, I received my sports licence and was able to compete in paragliding competitions,” he said.
When it seemed like Marume had reached the end of his rope in 2015, he linked up with Stephan Kruger, the owner of Fly Cape Town Paragliding, a multi-faceted company that specialises in paragliding tours, teaching and other things connected to the sport.
Soon after working there, Kruger organised a glider for Marume through one of his pilots and he was once again airborne.
“I obtained my tandem rate paragliding licence shortly after. This meant that I could transport people, but not charge them for the ride.”
Marume notes that once he gets his tandem instructor rating, he will be able to make money from the sport and better the lives of his family.