SA's Rainbow Runner
Photo Credit: Keith Boyd

Against unthinkable adversity, South Africa’s Rainbow Runner Keith Boyd conquered his Cape to Cairo quest; making a world record all to inspire more young people to vote and be active citizens:

 

Global (28 May 2024) Not too long ago, the man running across the continent with hopes of inspiring voting culture in young South Africans did not know if it would even be possible for him to finish the task. Not because his legs were too tired, and not because he didn’t have enough energy to carry on, but because of safety concerns surrounding the last 500-odd kilometres. But, against all odds, Keith Boyd, South Africa’s rainbow runner, had conquered his Cape to Cairo Quest and set a world record!

As Good Things Guy reported in April, Keith’s Cape to Cairo adventure (which began in July 2023 in Cape Town) was put on pause due to fears for his own safety and that of his videographer.

Despite an eye-opening adventure that took him across the continent, Keith shared he had endured being held at gunpoint and having had to escape a kidnapping attempt by rebel groups in Northern Ethiopia. Understandably, he did not want to put himself or anyone else at intense risk on the way to Cairo.

As such, he called on his supporters to sign a petition he aimed to present to the Ethiopian Government with hopes they would ensure his safety. Over a thousand people gave their support.

However, even that was not enough.

“No, the Ethiopian National government did nothing to assist us nor guarantee our security in the last 500km despite all your petitions and our repeated requests through various direct and diplomatic channels.”

So how did he do it?

A helluva lot of courage, and a determination to better South Africa’s future, had a lot to do with it.

“We had to organise [finishing the run] with a heroic and humble team of Ethiopian civilians and local officials,” said Keith.

Thanks to them, and Keith’s unwavering spirit, the rainbow runner finished the race in a total of 301 days, 20 hours and 58 minutes with a new World Record for running the length of Africa from Cape Town to Cairo to boast.

Though those last 500kms were no glamourised victory stretch. Keith shares that the safety concerns he had stressed over did come to fruition, including being ambushed and threatened with a weapon as well as the team being locked up overnight “without any charges”, toilets or water.

Still, the Rainbow Runner and his team pushed forward, and did the impossible. All to encourage apathetic voters to become active citizens. All for the future of our country.

Keith has many more stories to tell of his almost-a-year on the road, and has shared that he has plans to share them in his book “Running Africa”.

But for now, while he reconciles the epic odyssey he has just lived through, we hope he has his feet up, and is enjoying a Springbok-level thank you from South Africa.


Sources: Keith Boyd; GTG
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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