South Africa drone queen’s efforts get rewarded

South African drone technology entrepreneur Queen Ndlovu was recently honoured as a recipient of the inaugural Charlotte Maxeke African Women Leadership Award for her contribution towards drone innovation in the country.

Ms Ndlovu is the founder and CEO of QP Drone Tech, a drone services company that has added value on the South African drone space through services that include data collection in disaster recover situations.

In these situations, the company has worked with world humanitarian bodies that include UNICEF; as well as local corporates.

QP Drone Tech is also the custodian of South African Flying Labs, the local sibling of a network of drone and robotics entrepreneurs whose purpose is to lead drone-based solutions in their respective countries in the global south.

Through South Africa Flying Labs, Queen and her associates have championed training projects geared towards introducing drone and robotics technology among the youth in underprivileged communities; in efforts to make the kids understand that they – like anybody in the world – can lead successful careers in drone technology and robotics.

And for leading these youth-centred projected in underserved communities, Queen’s efforts were rewarded with the Charlotte Maxeke African Women Leadership Award, at a ceremony held in Johannesburg last week.

Named in honour of Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke (1871-1939) – a religious leader, social and political activist who became first black woman to graduate with a university degree in South Africa – the awards were aimed at acknowledging and honouring exceptional African women leaders who are playing a positive a role in advancing Africa’s development in various sectors of society.

They were presented by international relations minister, Dr Naledi Pandor.

“QP Drone Tech and South Africa Flying Labs are very proud of this milestone Ms Ndlovu has achieved and it wouldn’t have been possible without the joint effort of our staff, clients, strategic partners, friends and families,” the company said in a statement.

“We are honoured to have our work recognised across Africa.”

Queen has also founded and co-founded various other businesses, such as laundry and management consulting businesses in the past.

A citation chronicling her achievements added; “She was nominated as a finalist for the Women in Tech by the South African Women in Tech Summit in 2020. Ndlovu was featured as a keynote speaker at various conferences and her work in the drone industry was featured in Drone Professional 2, a top selling book on Amazon.

“Currently, Ndlovu is the Airwards Judge, the first global digital awards keen to recognise positive drone use cases.”

In receiving the inaugural award, Ndlovu urged other women involved in technology to embrace their uniqueness.

We’re kind of outliers,” she said. “(Some) people may think that we’re dreamers; that the innovation solutions we present are out of this world.

“As black women; especially working (in a male-dominated tech industry), we must always fight for our voices to be heard.”


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