Richard Mvula’s Legacy Lives on in the Aviation Industry

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Cheerful, dedicated, kind, a team player, professional, committed, father and mentor, that’s how some describe Richard Mvula’s legacy in Zambia’s aviation industry after serving as a ground handling professional for more than 40 years.

As an expert who spent four decades working in the aviation sector, Richard was a true mentor and leader who helped many people who aspired to have a career in the aviation sector. Soaring and mentoring the young generation of aviators was a life Richard never regretted, he was passionate about it.

Richard began his career in aviation in the 80s working for Zambia Airways as a young load control officer. It is during this time that he met with Proflight Zambia’s founder, Captain Tony Irwin, while they were both working for the airline.

Along his life and career journey, Richard was a friendly leader-driven personality that inspired and touched the lives of many people, not only at Proflight but the entire aviation sector. The late Mvula joined Proflight as Ground Operation Manager in 2012, flying with the airline for a decade.

“Richard touched the lives of every one of us at Proflight, he was always a true professional and a team player,” said Captain Irwin. “These are attributes that strengthened his long career with different airlines and the airport company.

“I know that many young people entering the industry learned a huge amount from him and quite rightly looked on him as
a father figure in the industry that he loved so much,” Tony explained.

And many of his colleagues and friends in aviation share and remember his legacy as being a father figure in Zambia’s aviation industry.

Harrison M. Musonda, in his farewell statement, described Richard as one of the founding members of the Ground Handling Department of the then National Airport Corporation soon after the closure of Zambia Airways in 1994.

“His service to the nation cannot be overlooked as he accompanied several Zambia Airways charter flights on special missions, among them the transportation of United Nations Peacekeeping soldiers from Ghana to Cambodia and back and the bringing of bodies of soccer players after the Gabon Air Disaster.”

And Martin Chilambwe, Proflight Zambia Lusaka Station Manager, remembers the late Richard Mvula as someone who believed in him when he started out his career in aviation. “With his experience, he made sure all of us working with him were trained and got the necessary knowledge from him.

“He was a great man who was so in love with aviation. His contributions and legacy will live on,” added Martin.

To commemorate his contribution to Proflight Zambia and the aviation Industry, Proflight Zambia has initiated the Richard Mvula Dedication Award. “This floating trophy will be presented in mid-December every year to a Proflight employee that has demonstrated exceptional dedication to duty,” he stated.

Richard’s legacy in Zambia’s aviation industry will continue to live on through his example of leadership, professionalism and skills he shared with his colleagues and the next generation of aviators.

May he rest in peace.

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