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    Travel blogger Meruschka Govender, aka MzansiGirl has passed away

    Travel blogger and social media influencer, Meruschka Govender, better known South Africa's MzansiGirl, has passed away. Thirty-eight years strong, Govender passed away on 15 January after a long and private battle with cancer.

    Govender was a pioneer in the digital travel blogging industry.

    Traveller24 described her as "an exceptional force at harnessing the power of the internet and social media, to break down borders, barriers and excite people about getting to know this African continent we call home. She used it to smash archaic stereotypes and urban legends."

    Born in Durban, Govender shared her travel experiences and passion for South Africa with her bubbly personality and zest for life, which hugely influenced SA’s tourism and travel industry.

    Here, Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Destinate says of Govender:

    You’ve helped pave the way for female travel in particular on the continent and I along with many others are more committed than ever to take up the baton, building upon your legacy and squeezing everything we possibly can out of this one precious life.

    We will never forget have left far too deep a mark on our hearts and your footsteps are etched into the soil of this land.

    Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism also tweeted in remembrance of MzansiGirl:
    Just learned of the passing of Meruschka, renowned travel blogger. Her contribution to promoting South Africa as a world class destination & sharing the beauty of our country will forever be remembered. I will miss her smile, charm & invaluable insights. Farewell #MzansiGirl #RIP
    Travel blogger Meruschka Govender, aka MzansiGirl has passed away
    Travel Massive also shared heartfelt condolences for the loss of the blogger:
    This week, we lost an incredible and inspiring woman in tourism and dear friend to many of us. @Mzansigirl lead our @TravelMassivJHB chapter and was a huge heart in the #TravelMassive Africa community and worldwide. Thank you #Meruschka for all the good you gave the world. ~Ian
    Co-founder of Story Travelers, Caspar Daniël Diederik shared a moving tribute for Govender compiled of old photos:

    So sad to see another young vibrant person pass to the other side too early. We had some good fun together on the trip in Mauritius and South Africa. @mzansigirl you will be missed but you’ll live on in the hearts of people and shine like a star at night. Grabbed some old videos of back in 2014 and made you a tribute. Thanks to @mattybrownfilms too for the shot on Reunion island.

    A post shared by Caspar Daniël Diederik (@caspardiederik) on

    Rest in peace, MzansiGirl.

    Read more:

    Mzansi Girl bids South Africa an eternal goodbye
    South Africans mourn the death of travel blogger #MzansiGirl

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