UKZN alumnus and champion long-distance runner Ms Nontu Mgabhi has raised R1.7 million to provide Khiphinkumzi Primary School in Mtubatuba with five classrooms complete with desks, chairs and blackboards.
The money is also being used towards sponsoring uniforms for learners in need and food parcels for families impacted by COVID-19.
Mgabhi raised the money during the build-up to and the aftermath of the World Marathon Challenge last year in which she ran seven marathons in seven days, across seven continents.
She hopes that her marathon runs inspire children in rural villages and society to contribute to social change. ‘Thank you to all the sponsors for changing the lives of children from Khiphinkumzi Primary School,’ said Mgabhi. ‘It is important to leave no-one behind and to uplift communities in need, especially through education. We all benefit when a child is educated.’
And Mgabhi has plenty left in the tank – in October this year she plans to run the Marathon Des Sables which involves a 251km ultra-marathon in the Sahara Desert. ‘I am running to raise funds to build toilets for the Khiphinkumzi school,’ she said. ‘The event is regarded as the toughest running race on earth. I chose it as I believe it epitomises the hardship children at the school and in the area generally face on a daily basis. They are in remote places, out of sight and often out of mind. They have to make do with limited to no resources. In spite of this, they keep pushing and forging ahead.’
To find out how to support Mgabhi’s fundraising venture email firstname.lastname@example.org