IN FEBRUARY, Nontu Mgabhi became the first African woman to run seven marathons on all seven continents in consecutive days. We found out how she managed such a daunting feat – and what motivated her to even try.
I was born in a deep rural village called Mseleni. Growing up there helped me develop the heart for social justice. And although I live in a suburb now, I honestly still see myself as a rural girl – I see myself reflected in all the girls from the village.
This is perhaps the reason I ran theWorld Marathon Challenge; my motivation was to raise R3.5 million for 657 underprivileged children from the deep rural village of Dukuduku inMtubatuba, KZN. When I saw the learning conditions they are subjected to, I immediately saw myself in them, and I felt the need to pay it forward – to improve their school infrastructure and inspire them in all ways possible.
I am so fortunate that the universe made it possible for me to get scholarships and all the other financial aid that enabled me to ascend the many ‘mountains’ I faced when I was growing up – to study up to Master’s level and become a registered psychologist. I am forever grateful to the people who supported me and took many chances on me.
I’m now the General Manager of Human Resources at Richards Bay Coal Terminal. (In 2017, Nontumade history when at 30, she became the youngest executive ever appointed at the Terminal.)
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