Ever thought about what it takes to summit Africa’s highest mountain? On this episode of Sisters Without Shame, sisters Bontle Moraladi (30) and Dineo Khumalo (43) unpack their journey up Mount Kilimanjaro. With the mind in focus and fuelled with purpose, anything is possible, these sisters say.
The sisters from Kimberley in the Northern Cape, alongside their friend Karabelo Mojanaga, embarked on a journey up Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, in 2021 to raise funds for the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) and gender-based violence (GBV).
The Kilimanjaro bug first bit Khumalo at a Seta conference she attended in KwaZulu-Natal. “Mount Kilimanjaro was mentioned numerously by one of the speakers. When I went to the Seta conference in KZN, the CEO of FNB started speaking about entrepreneurship, and how innovation does not happen in the workplace. You can actually just go to the coffee shop, and that is when you actually become creative,” says Khumalo.
Preparing body and mind
“The support we got from home and the reason that we were doing it for became greater than us. We ended up having the whole GBV campaign and cancer awareness. In that way, we knew that we had to finish,” Khumalo says.
For future climbers, Khumalo advises, “Do not overthink, just prepare your mind. It is very important.”
Meanwhile Moraladi adds that channelling a positive mindset assisted them a lot in facing the challenges. “When I finally bought the idea that we were going to climb Kilimanjaro Mountain, we researched what we needed to do. We took time to prepare for it, and we researched the best ways in which we would succeed.”
While it took three months of rigorous physical training for the trip, the sisters felt like it would have helped to prepare more, maybe eight months before. “You need to work out before, so that when you are on the mountain you do not battle with fitness and sickness,” Moraladi explains.
According to Khumalo, starting on a journey of this magnitude, requires more mental strength than physical strength. “When you are mentally strong, then your feet will follow. And running long distances also assists, because when you run, you run with your heart,” she says.
Moraladi emphasises the significance of knowing your purpose before you embark on the journey. “It’s important to remember why you started it in the first place so that you can stay motivated,” she says.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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