First and only female chemical engineer in the SA Navy


Sub Lieutenant Masego Mosupye is a 27 year-old from Mafikeng in the North West who joined the SA Navy in December 2012 as a Reserve Force student, while studying at the University of Cape Town.

The work she did at the Naval Engineering Section (NES) motivated her to do more work for the SA Navy once she was qualified. She then did her basic military training (BMT) at Saldanha Bay for six months in 2014, as well as writing her final exam at UCT and graduating in December 2014 with a BSc in Chemical Engineering.

Mosupye went further into her naval career completing the nine month Military Training for Officers Part 1 course in December 2015. She then returned to the NES as a chemical engineer dealing with corrosion on naval vessels.

During her time at UCT, Mosupye was elected into the Woolsack residence’s executive committee and participated in a leadership training day at TS Woltemade, a sea cadet base where she volunteered as an instructor teaching the first aid and engineering classes. From 2013 to 2017, she did rope work, boat work, parade work, basic first aid and basic engineering tasks with the cadets.

Mosupye said she takes pleasure in working with young people and helping out communities in need. This is evident in her membership to the non-profit organisation Bagaetsho, of which she is the general secretary. It focuses on education, health, sports, youth and children in disadvantaged communities in North West. She is also part of the Bagaetsho Science Centre Project committee, which is developing a science centre at Mosikare Secondary School in Mantsa village in her home province.

She wants to set an example for her four younger siblings and encourage them to strive for the best at all times. She said working with the young sea cadets at TS Woltemade taught her one can use any situation to their advantage. Her time with the sea cadets showed her youngsters are always searching for role models to look up to and emulate.
“The future of South African youth is massive, there is so much potential in our country and I plan to stay involved in youth development initiatives until we can make a visible difference,” she said.

As the first and only female chemical engineer in the maritime service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) she hopes more chemical engineers will join her.

Mosupye is a fan of military parades and has participated in numerous, including Armed Forces Day, medal and women commemoration parades. She says that she is fascinated by the level of discipline and commitment members put into parades and the pride shown when marching in uniform are particular values she attaches to parades.

She is an active member of the Defence Yacht Club (DYC) and has taken part in a number of regattas, including long distance ones such as the West Coast Offshore and the Mykonos Offshore regattas.

Her message to young people is there are no limits to one’s imagination, to make things happen you have to actually go out there, talk to people and make them see your vision. She would like to see more support for youth development activities to build strong and confident youngsters who can become great men and women of society.