Londy Ngcobo: The dredge master
Updated: May 13, 2019
Londy Ngcobo @blaqmermaid is Africa’s First Female Dredge Master, a ship Navigator and founder of @mamas_escape_club a community micro-blog that seeks to simplify a mother’s life by engaging in parenting & lifestyle discussions. Londy tells us that being a Piscean, she was naturally drawn to maritime studies, first at high school in Durban and then at the Durban University of Technology. Upon completion of her studies, Londy was accepted into a Cadetship Programme by one of the largest container shipping companies @maerskgroup and later qualified as a Deck Officer, which allowed her to serve on board all sized vessels sailing on international waters. Londy loves how diverse the industry is and how at a young age, she got to travel globally which has taught her to appreciate the different backgrounds and cultures she was exposed to and how alike we all are in our differences. In 2011, she decided she wanted a less nomadic life, and switched to working on dredgers (dredgers are the ships that remove sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, harbours, and other water bodies), and qualified for her second licence as a Master on Port Operations vessels, becoming Africa’s first female dredge master. Londy now works as a marine compliance manager and says she is often asked how she has survived in such a male dominated environment - her answer: “It’s all I know!” She says she cannot complain as she has never felt victimised as a female and that her personality and her ability to stand up for herself has stood her in good stead.
We are inspired by Londy’s fearlessness in forging her successful path in the very masculine maritime industry. Londy does a lot of motivational public speaking these days, tells us that she is an extreme daydreamer and was able to manoeuvre 50 000 gross tonnage ships before she could even drive a car!
Featured artist: Robyn Richards @robyn_alexandra93