Sean Mendis has two decades of experience in senior management roles within the aviation sector in Africa. He is presently based in Malawi, where he offers executive level consulting and intelligence to aviation stakeholders.
I am a global wanderer.
One of the most difficult questions that I am asked is "where are you from?".
I was born in India during the late 1970s to parents who worked for airlines. I spent my childhood following my father on postings to the UK and Australia. I was educated in India, the USA and Canada.
I always wanted to found and run an airline. Some years ago, I got the rare opportunity to be part of the team to set up the new national airline of Ghana. I packed up my bags and moved there in January 2005. For better or worse, I stayed on in Africa and have started up two more airlines since then. I'm not sure if this was due to my exceptional abilities and superb work ethic, or due to my boyish good looks and charm.
I speak and understand smatterings of many languages, but do not claim to have mastered any. I have a bank account in Dubai, an Indian passport, a Malawian mobile number, a Canadian drivers license and a US credit card. Home is anywhere that I don't earn frequent flyer miles to spend the night.
I have traveled nearly three and a half million miles in the last four decades. This is the equivalent of eleven trips to the moon. I have flown over a hundred different airlines, visited over eighty countries on six continents and generally lived a very full life for someone my age. I've experienced emergency landings, airplane crashes, engine fires, deaths in flight, physical altercations and the comic sight of a barefoot man in a Santa Claus outfit chasing a baggage cart across the taxiways at London Gatwick.
I am an only child. When I was younger I sometimes believed that aircraft were my siblings. Most people think I am strange because of this. In my sane moments, I often agree with them. I once stood by the fence at Boeing Field at 2am just to watch the baby planes sleeping. They are so peaceful when they sleep.
I am balding. This is a matter of some concern. I believe it is indicative of a looming mid life crisis. Thankfully my largest bald patch is at the back of my head so I do not see this in the mirror every morning. I fear it would detract from my boyish good looks and charm. If I had to see it, I think I would cry.
I am a libertarian at heart. I firmly believe that laissez faire is the best attitude to adopt towards life in general. The world has enough regulations without cluttering it with any more unnecessary ones. Good governance lies in setting up and maintaining an enabling environment for people to thrive, not in micromanaging and over regulating your constituency.
I think tomato is the root of all evil in this world.
I am probably considered persona non grata by the Government of Barbados. It's a long story.
I have large feet. I also have large hands. I would say more but this is a family website.
I once killed a man in a fight but it was ruled as self defense.
I am a friend to all who treat me fairly and who can keep an open mind about the world at large. I am the worst enemy of anyone who crosses someone I care about.
Did I mention my boyish good looks and charm yet?