Today we bring you a one-on-one interview with Afolabi Foluke Olayemisi, a corporate flight attendant based in Lagos, Nigeria. Read along to learn more about her, her experiences and tips for operating in Nigeria.
Which aircraft have you flown on during your career?
I have flown Dash 8; Boeing 737-200, 300, 400 and 500 Series; plus a DC-1011.
Where did you receive flight attendant training?
Landover Business Aviation School in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
How long have you been a flight attendant?
I have been a commercial flight attendant for three years and a corporate flight attendant for less than a year.
Have you received any awards / industry scholarships?
I have not received any official awards but do receive word-of-mouth recommendations from both passengers and colleagues. Those are my true awards.
Aside from your corporate flight attendant training, what other education do you have?
I have a diploma in agric-economics, as well as a degree in economics.
Which languages are you fluent in?
English, Pidgin English, Yoruba and a little French.
What has been your most memorable flight?
Flying pilgrims on a hajj flight.
What types of cuisine do you prefer?
African cuisine, as well as intercontinental cuisine.
What are your favorite destinations, and why?
Europe, because things are done mostly to favor the masses.
What is your favorite restaurant in Lagos?
What are some things to do that you would suggest for a corporate flight attendant visiting Lagos for the first time?
Lagos is a very rowdy place full of opportunities. Therefore, I would advise any crew visiting for the first time to be security conscious and not to show that they are new. Rather, be conscious of where they are and how to get there, but in between they should relax and have fun.
Any cultural tips for a corporate flight attendant visiting Lagos for the first time?
Lagos is a mini-Nigeria in that virtually every tribe in Nigeria has a relation / representative in Lagos. Because of this, English, Pidgin and Yoruba are commonly the means of communication. There are a variety of food types available, but mostly you will find local foods. We have BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), cabs and molue (yellow buses) as a means of transportation. Naira is used as a medium of exchange.
What are some in-flight catering challenges you have experienced? How did you overcome them?
The big one that comes to mind is when there is a shortage of in-flight catering on board. I was able to improvise. That is, instead of giving passengers two snacks I gave them one so everyone can have some.
What made you decide to become a corporate flight attendant?
Corporate flight attendants attend to fewer passengers, so we are able to give more attention to each individual.
What do you feel are essential skills for a successful corporate flight attendant?
Punctuality, presentation – which entails your overall etiquette in talking and interacting with passengers, good posture and body language. Above all, being nice and friendly in a professional way. Always be punctual for your flights, do the necessary briefing and de-briefing as the may be, get catering ready and, above all, be courteous both at welcoming passengers on board and also during in-flight service.
What email address should be used to contact you?
This article is part of a series of interviews we are conducting with corporate cabin crew members; individuals who are not employed by Air Culinaire Worldwide. If you would like to be considered for an interview, which is posted on our blog and all of our social media accounts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.