Nontuthuko Mgabhi has done it, she set out to complete the Ultra Asia Race and she did it, finishing 4th overall; all to make sure rural children have school shoes.
South Africa (15 March 2023) – Nontuthuko Mgabhi (36) affectionately known as Nontu, a dedicated ultra-runner from Richards Bay, has completed the Ultra ASIA 160km Race in Vietnam, coming second in the women’s division and fourth overall.
Nontu set the goal for herself to complete the race, in the hopes of raising money to purchase 500 pairs of school shoes for five different schools.
Through her various athletic adventures, including becoming the First Female from Africa to run 7 marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Consecutive Days, Mgabhi has raised over R3 million, which has been used to provide a variety of resources for learners living in poverty.
Her latest mission is to raise another R140 000 through a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to provide 500 new pairs of school shoes to learners from five different schools in Mseleni on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast, giving children from deep rural villages a fair chance at education.
She believes that school shoes have the power to bridge the gap in education.
“A school shoe is not a ‘nice to have’ for children from the rural village. A school shoe can stand in the way, and in some cases it does. Children in rural villages walk a long distance to school (+/- 6km), a school shoe is a necessity, it’s not about looking good but it’s about helping them walk the distance. A school shoe is a mode of transport.”
“I too come from a deep rural village, the village of Mseleni, and it is my desire to inspire hope, especially in the children from the deep rural village. I believe in equal opportunities and it is my wish that children from rural villages get a fair chance to succeed.”
Nontu ran between 130 – 140km per week, in preparation for the gruelling Ultra ASIA Race. She trained for 6,000 metres of positive elevation and 7,000 metres of negative elevation while carrying her own supplies. It was a long, hard challenge but Nontu made it, and flew the South African flag in the process!
If you would like to support her, you can do so via BackaBuddy here. Nontuthuko also welcomes physical donations of shoes, which will go a long way to helping. You can reach her via email to do more.