Zanele Hlatshwayo

Zanele Hlatshwayo, an incredible Ultra marathon runner is taking on 18 races to raise R180 000 for depression and suicide support.


Depression is a silent killer in South Africa: 23 people commit suicide daily, mostly men, and there are hundreds of attempts on a daily basis. The youngest victim to date was a 6 year old boy from Limpopo who hung himself at school due to the impoverished circumstances he couldn’t handle any longer. In South Africa, people do not speak about it or recognise that they are depressed and suicidal.

Ultra marathon runner Zanele Hlatshwayo lost her father to suicide. His and others’ struggles have inspired her to run 18 races between January and July 2018 to raise R180 000 and create awareness about depression and suicide.

On 18 January she launched a campaign called #Rise18 in partnership with SADAG (South Africa Depression and Anxiety Group) to raise funds for the Group. Non-profit SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health and advocacy group and it is under-resourced.

“I want to help SADAG through raising funds so that they can maintain the costs of running the organisation,” she says.

“Depression and suicidal thoughts are personal struggles I had to face when my own father took his life. Running is a sacred experience for me; a mechanism that helped me deal with his death. What better way to help those who might be going through similar experiences than through the power of running?”

In July, Zanele will run her 18th race – the Washie 100 Miler, which is a 160km race, a massive challenge for any athlete.

“Follow my running journey on social media and on YouTube as myself and others share stories on how we survived depression and suicide. Let’s Rise in helping the suppressed who feel alone, let’s Rise by demystifying depression and suicide, let us Rise by lending a helping hand to those who need it.”

Anyone wanting to support Zanele in her journey to Rise against depression and suicide can donate via Back a Buddy and follow her journey via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Sources: Zanele Hlatshwayo
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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