“I am heartbroken, Xolani was incredibly inspirational and someone I was absolutely honoured to have met. I just listened to that interview again, and I am just so, so sad.”
Johannesburg, South Africa (21 September 2021) – Xolani Luvuno – a runner with bone marrow cancer, who inspired South Africans with his strength and determination – has sadly passed away.
Hein Venter, a mentor and good friend of Xolani, broke the news on Facebook on Monday night.
Venter said Xolani was “a son to me, a friend to many and a hero to all who were inspired by your incredible bravery and appreciated your humility”. In the post, he did not reveal the circumstances around Luvuno’s death, only saying, “this ending was all so unnecessary”.
South Africans first got to know Xolani in May 2017 after renowned South African advocate for change Yusuf Abramjee, spotted the runner and stopped to speak to him to find out why he was running with crutches. But what seems like a massive achievement is not the biggest mountain that Xolani has climbed in his life.
The incredible South African survived bone marrow cancer and, a little over 2 years ago, was a drug addict who by then had been homeless, living under a bridge in Pretoria for 7 years.
Running has indeed enabled him to turn his life around!
Good Things Guy caught up with Xolani in 2019 to talk about his inspiring run, his strength and determination and his next epic challenge.
“I am heartbroken, Xolani was incredibly inspirational and someone I was absolutely honoured to have met. I just listened to that interview again, and I am just so, so sad.” – Brent Lindeque
In the interview, he described running as his “new addiction” and says he was given the break that led to him turning his life around by Hein, who helped him get off the streets and into running. He even opens up about the medal debacle and chats about his triumph over adversity.
Listen to the full interview here: