Meet Kucki Low
South Africa’s first commercial airline pilot and motivational speaker. Now meet the Kucki Low I met just a couple of months ago an energetic, vibrant and passionate lady with enormous positivity and a huge smile. Reaching high to achieve the next chapter in her dream journey of turning her inspirational book into a movie to inspire young women to #WingIt. Kucki is certainly Flying High!
Having spent some time now with Kucki, I know its hard for her to sit still and even though Kucki didn’t want to get out of my amazingly comfortable La-Z-Boy she had to take it for a spin and kick up her heels! Here is Kucki Low’s Lines from the La-Z-Boy…
Nikki ‘Firstly Kucki, where do you get all your energy, I know I have a good amount but whats your formula!’
"I have lived a wonderful life, not without my share of challenges, but you have a choice, you can rise above your challenges and live for your dreams or dwell on your obstacles. Im very much a believe in yourself type of person, if I don’t have the tools I will find another way. Living your dreams gives you so much energy and enthusiasm to get up each morning and make the most of every moment, you get this one life to be amazing and I for one don’t want to waste a minute."
Nikki ‘So who is Kucki Low, I know you have a new site that just launched, but give me a quick bio for our readers and then they can take a look at your site to read more’
Kucki – Yes we are so super excited about the new site, to take a peek click here YouCanWingIT. Not only does it show who I am and my wonderful Crew but it talks about ways to get involved and the charity we also represent, Education without Borders.
We also have some amazing images on there by this fabulous photographer – do you know her :)) (inside joke!) here is a link to some of her other work Nikki Baxendale Photography. I just love your work from when you were the photographer for the American Red Cross working on the relief effort for Hurricane Sandy it was so moving.
So a little about me…. I was born in Austria to an Austrian mother and a German father. My brother Axel and I moved with our parents to Namibia, then known as South West Africa in 1952.
My career as a photographer started at the age of fifteen when my father became ill. Under his guidance I became the official photographer of ‘Photo von Gerlach.’ Shortly after I turned 17, my mother tragically died and then I lost my father before 19. This devastating time encouraged me to move to Germany and continue my education as a photographer, attending a photography school in Munich Germany, I guess you could say it was the first major time in my life where I had to make that call I spoke of and choose to make the best of it.
When I returned to Walvis Bay Namibia a few years later, I started working for my uncle who had bought our photography business. One day I went up for a late evening photo shoot, and this ignited my passion for flying. Not one to let the lack of formal education get in the way of my dreams, I decided to switch careers and become a pilot.
Overcoming many challenges I eventually got my instructors rating and first job as a flight Instructor and continued on to become the first female airline pilot in South Africa. To read more please visit the site. You Can Wing It.
Nikki ‘So with all the obstacles and hours of education when did you fit in romance!’
Kucki – “Lets just say flying is a magical dating ground, the sheer beauty of the skies is romance in itself! Here I was lucky enough to meet my partner in life when I became his instructor. Yes I married one of my students, and then after that the next love of my life arrived, My son Marc. Shortly after he was born we moved to Canada and fell in love with Vancouver and our new home in Deep Cove.”
Nikki – ‘Wow, thats a busy life, so what inspired you to write a book and then want to produce a movie?’
Kucki – “Having overcome a halted education, and a fear I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a female pilot, I knew I wanted other women to know they had every opportunity to reach their potential if they could find the courage to try. With determination and sometimes moments of just #Winging it, I made it and so could so many others, this is why it was so important to get that message out.
I’ve had quite a few wing it moments and all of them took me on some amazing journeys. Last year I woke up feeling incredibly joyous, (always a great indication for me that I’m on the right track,) from a very vivid dream of being at the premier of my movie. Four months later events and connections happened that would move me closer to that dream. Embarking on this unfamiliar journey, with my fabulous KuckiCo team and now moving confidently towards making that dream a reality is my most exciting “wing it” moment yet.
Nikki – ‘I have heard you mention #WingIt can you tell our readers what you mean?’
Kucki – “You can see me smiling now! Yes you and I had this amazing photoshoot at Coast Pacific Aviation Abbotsford, where the fabulous team there brought back so many memories as we did a shoot around their Piper Twin Comanche. During that shoot you had me jump onto the wing of the plane and thats where we just knew our hashtag for our campaign had to be #WingIt
We wanted a way to say you don't always have to have all the tools in your tool box, sometimes it takes an extra dose of bravery and just being bold enough to Wing it to get you to the next step.
Nikki – ‘So Kucki I have to have you share the reason why we went to Abbotsford to shoot in the first place, remember our first meeting where we could not stop talking about our shared passions and mine for photography?’
Kucki – “yes I remember giving you a copy of my book and you instantly said wow lets recreate that image!! You were so excited and I could hardly contain myself because I knew I still had the same pilots uniform I wore some 40 years earlier”
Here are the before and afters and can I tell you it was just as much fun taking these as the day I sat there on the plan those years before. Finding the same plane in Abbotsford and climbing on the wing was sheer Magic!
This is the cover of my book!
and here I am 40 years later!! got to love those sunglasses!!
Nikki – ‘So I know Passion is another word you use alot, what does it mean to you?’
Kucki – “In my twenties to early thirties flying was my absolute passion. I am still very passionate about it today, however my focus about it has shifted. When my book “This is Kucki Your Pilot Speaking” came out in 2011 it catapulted me into a speaking career that gave me the opportunity to share my passion and love for aviation with other women. I was able to inspire them by sharing my story to experience the thrill of flying and possibly consider a career in aviation.
One of my biggest passions since 2005 has been Kundalini Yoga and meditation. The feeling I experienced during my first meditation was as if I had somehow regained the peacefulness I experienced flying on top of the clouds. I was hooked in spite of the initial agony just sitting in easy pose. It’s an important part of my daily routine and has impacted my life in so many positive ways.
I have been following The Abraham teachings for the past fourteen years and feel fortunate that these have also impacted my life in so many wonderful ways. Bringing a more positive outlook on life, I attribute my joyous romping through life to those teachings.
Above all and most importantly for me however is having a harmonious and loving family. Rollerblading, sailing and exploring this beautiful part of the world we are fortunate to be living in, with my sweetheart and husband of forty years and when he was younger our son Marc is another one of my passions.
Nikki ‘Kucki your life is so inspiring and having been so captivated by your journey so far, I am thrilled to be joining the Kucki Crew as photographer and Social Media Director. I just know we are on the brink of an amazing journey and one we will all look back on and feel so proud to have been part of’
Kucki ‘Me too I couldn’t have said it better its going to be the flight of a lifetime and I am so blessed to be with my new crew, a crew has always been essential and this time its with a new purpose and one I feel strongly will bring an abundance of joy for all involved’
Nikki ‘Lastly, Kucki do you think you might give me that chair back’
Kucki “Are you kidding its way to comfortable and I am have far too much fun!! actually I’m serious when I say these could be great seats on a plane!!’ new business perhaps!”
About the Author
Nikki is the creator of Literally Life, a lifestyle blog about exactly all the things she loves. It centers around passion & creativity with a large dollop (don’t you love that word!) of everyday moments that bring fun, adventure and joy. As a retail design executive for the past 20 years she has managed and worked alongside many talented teams, driven to find new ways to excite the senses. Whether it’s an image, a new product or taste, at the centre is her passion for creativity. She adores photography and if you do too you can see more on her website Nikki Baxendale Photography.
Check out Kucki Low's site You Can Wing It