Nontuthuko Mgabhi, a long-distance runner, is planning to do the World Marathon Challenge in 2020 to raise funds for rural school children which will make her the first woman in Africa to complete it.
South Africa (05 December 2019) – Nontuthuko Mgabhi is hoping to become the first woman in Africa to complete the World Marathon Challenge. This year, Ross Taggart became the first South African to participate in the challenge, so Nontu will be the second South African and first woman to take part and hopefully complete the challenge.
In the last five years, Nontuthuko (Nontu) Mgabhi has completed more than 50 marathons, as well as 15 ultra-marathons, which includes 4 Comrades Marathons and two 100-milers (161km).
The World Marathon Challenge will be Nontu’s most significant endeavour to date. She has been accepted in the 2020 World Marathon Challenge, which takes place on 6 – 12 February 2020. The challenge involves running seven marathons, on seven continents, in seven consecutive days.
Nontu is dedicating the race to children’s education in an underprivileged rural school – the Khiphinkunzi Primary School in Mtubatuba. The school was founded in 1997 and currently has a total of 657 learners (349 boys and 308 girls) between the age of 5 to 15 years.
The school is in desperate need of basic infrastructural resources. The school infrastructure undermines effective teaching and learning. All the windowpanes are shattered. Old pieces of chalkboard cover the back windows. The pot-holed floors have not seen polish in years because there is almost no floor to polish but many pot-holes in classrooms. The implications of learning under such conditions are frightening.
The parents of the children are unemployed and depend on government grants (pension or child support). Majority of the families are either child-headed or are raised by their grandparents, and a significant number of the children who attend the school do not have Birth Certificates, as their parents do not have identity documents. The children go to bed with empty stomachs, and they then have to travel a long distance to and from school without any food.
It is for this reason that Nontu is dedicating this race to contribute to the alleviation of this depressing situation at the school. She intends to raise R3.5 million to upgrade the school by building five additional classrooms and two administration offices.
“I believe every child deserves quality education, and the current conditions of the school breaks my heart. No child is limited – it’s opportunities that limits children.”
If you would like to support Nontu in reaching her goal, you can check out her website here.