Home Inspiration In 24 years, Nigerian employed as cleaner becomes airplane captain

In 24 years, Nigerian employed as cleaner becomes airplane captain


A man who got employed 24 years ago as an aircraft cleaner at Air Azman in Nigeria has toiled and risen gradually through the ranks to now become a captain in the aviation industry.

When Mohammed Abubakar joined Azman Air Services Limited, Nigeria’s Kano based domestic airline company 24 years ago, he never imagined he would rise so much from his position, let alone to be a captain.

However, his hard work and determination has paid off as he received his fourth bar to become a captain.
Mohammed Abubakar’s success story became viral on social media after a colleague of his posted photos on twitter with a little of his back story.

On the viral post, he captioned it, “He Joined the Aviation industry 24years ago as Aircraft Cleaner. Today He is getting the Fourth Bar to becoming a CAPTAIN. Congratulations Mohammed Abubakar from all of us @AirAzman.”

After finishing his secondary school, Abubakar got a casual job as an aircraft cleaner with Kabo Air in Kaduna. He recalled, “It was during Hajj operation, and I was earning N200 per day, even though many believed that I wouldn’t do it because of the meagre money involved. I was later employed as ground staff with the airline in Maiduguri. Through my service in the company, I worked in almost all the units, except security. That helped me a lot in the aviation sector.”

With time, Abubakar got employed as a cabin crew member after a solid performance at an interview held in Kaduna, where he served Kabo Air for 8 years, earning N17,000 monthly.

He later moved to Aero Contractors, in the oil and gas section of the company as a flight attendant, where he worked with their chartered services, as the company was then not into scheduled flight services.

While there, he gave some input, which made the then Deputy Managing Director of the company to take notice of him and soon the two developed a good working relationship, and the Deputy Managing Director would seek Abubakar’s opinion on many things.

Abubakar recalled the shock he felt when he received his first salary at Aero that he tried to return it thinking there was a mix-up. “This is because my initial salary at Kabo Air was N17,000, and what I got paid in Aero was N170,000, so I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

He decided to save and invest his money heavily on bettering himself. He explained, “I joined a contribution system with my colleagues, and when it was my turn to receive the accumulated funds, there was a sizeable amount of money. So, I went to the managing director and sought his advice on my dream of training as a pilot. He was so happy, and supported me. That’s how I managed to sponsor myself for my private pilot license in Canada, which marked my take-off as an aircraft pilot.”

Abubakar said the journey to actualizing his dream has often been tough and he even considered giving up. “But I was able to weather the storm, and here we are today.” he said.

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