Uganda’s 8-year-old Graham Shema has become an internet sensation after photos of him flying hit the net.
Commonly known as “Captain Shema” he started learning how to fly a plane at age 7. So far, he has flown as a trainee around three times on a Cessna 172.
In 2020 he became popular in his country through his display of aircraft knowledge and budding flying skills.
Graham is a grade one pupil, and has flown severally as a co-pilot. Math and science are his best subjects.
The mother enrolled him in aviation academy after developing interest in planes at a tender age of three, when a police helicopter blew off his grandmother’s roof.
Having begun aviation classes in 2019, Graham learnt theory from home for about six months. He then attended an academy in Jinja, where he learnt practical sessions. The first flying encounter felt like a bird flying up.
The young pilot wants to be astronaut and someday travel to mars as his role model, Elon Musk, the CEO Space X and Telsa cars.
In his words: “I like Elon Musk because I want to learn with him about space, to go with him in space and also to get a handshake.”
Graham has hit the headlines of many local and International televisions including newspaper publications from December 24, 2020.
Mr Musk spotted ‘Captain Shema’ in one of the international headlines and contacted his mother, Ms Shamim Mwanaisha, a connection which secured him a scholarship place from the CEO.
During free time, the trainee pilot spends his time watching TV, playing basketball, badminton and miming.
Graham Shema has received acclaim from a number of International Companies and leaders including Germany’s ambassador and the Ugandan Transport minister who have invited him for meetings.