The shipping industry is known to be dominated by hardy seafaring men who steer their ships across oceans to ports far and wide. However, as a qualified maritime pilot, Pinky Zungu, a beautiful young woman from Durban, can show them a thing or two about handling some of the world’s biggest ocean vessels through some tight spots.
But for now Pinky is hanging up her pilot hat and taking the reigns of a different beast, that of Deputy Harbour Master of the Port of Durban, the largest and busiest port in sub-Saharan Africa. And as the first black woman to be appointed in this important position, she is also an inspiration to many women across South Africa, an example of how to live a Super Life.
Growing up in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Pinky had never even seen a real ship when she enrolled in Maritime Studies at the Durban University of Technology, but once she got a taste of sailing, the oceans and the magnificent vessels that sail across it became a full-blown love-affair.
“I love the ships themselves, I love the ocean. It is a planet on its own, like you have people wanting to go live on mars, for me that world is the sea,” she said in a recent interview.
But being the only handful female in a predominantly male industry has its challenges, but with such a passion for her job, Pinky’s takes it in her stride, with her eyes focused firmly on her career goals.
“I see myself being the harbour master, and paving the way for our ports to be the best in world,” said Pinky, a loving mother of two who lives with her husband, a senior lifeguard at eThekwini Municipality, in Lamontville just south of Durban.
Pinky Zungu is only 33 years old, young for someone who has already achieved so much in such a tough industry, but she is already an incredible role model, someone whose passion and determination to succeed truly embodies the SuperLife. Her advice for women all around the country who often face an uphill battle to succeed:
“If you are hungry enough for success, you become successful, if you are passionate about something, give it your all.”