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Inclusion, Empowerment & Social Justice News South Africa

Cape Union Mart shares 3 inspirational stories to get more people outdoors

Cape Union Mart presented its Brave Winter webinar last month, hosted by TV personality, comedian, MC and producer Sivuyile 'Siv' Ngesi, featuring stories from three inspirational South Africans.

"Brave Winter is so much more than just weathering a storm; it's an official connection to all of you that have endured so much. It's dedicated to all of you and our Cape Union Mart people," said Ngesi. "The time is now to get yourself and your loved ones out there. We have all been locked out for so long... the greatest thing about the outdoors is that it's a safe place for any of us to be right now."

The three webinar panellists included:

  • Saray Khumalo, mother of two, mountaineer and first Black African woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest,
  • Hanli Prinsloo, South African freediver, speaker, writer and ocean conservationist, and
  • Caleb Swanepoel, UCT graduate, shark attack survivor and South African para-athlete.

Saray Khumalo. Image source:
Saray Khumalo. Image source:

Saray Khumalo on inspiring the youth and resilience

Khumalo dedicates her climbs to people who dare to dream and to young Black African women to reach for the stars. She also wants to set a good example for her kids and show them that nothing is impossible. In 2019, she summitted Mount Everest in her fourth attempt which she says is a demonstration of resilience. Khumalo says she climbs for a purpose; every time she climbs, she uses it to raise funds and so far, she has built more than ten libraries.

Hanli Prinsloo. Image source:
Hanli Prinsloo. Image source:

Hanli Prinsloo on freediving and preserving the ocean

Prinsloo grew up on a horse farm outside of Johannesburg and dreamt of being a mermaid, even though the closest ocean to her was about a 10-hour drive. Prinsloo was introduced to freediving by a friend in varsity when she was in Sweden. “When I heard about freediving, I thought it must be a translation error, nothing is free here," Prinsloo recalls. She says when she is underneath the water, she always feels her best and happiest.

When asked about how she deals with bad weather, Prinsloo said there is no bad weather but only bad gear. In the past ten years, Prinsloo has dedicated her life to preserving the ocean and her foundation, I am Water Foundation, has helped underprivileged children in South Africa experience the transformative beauty of the ocean for the first time.

Caleb Swanepoel. Image source:
Caleb Swanepoel. Image source:

Caleb Swanepoel on surviving a shark attack and charitable donations

On 27 June 2015, Swanepoel was on a vacation with his family when he was attacked by a great white shark and lost his right leg above the knee. Swanepoel recalled thinking, "this is not real, this is not happening to me, this is a dream". Feeling helpless, he screamed a warning to his brother who came to his rescue.

He said his biggest lesson from this incident was his inner strength, that he is privileged to still be alive and that there is still a lot more to accomplish. This year, Swanepoel competed in his first CrossFit Open to raise funds for an eight-year-old amputee who needs a new prosthetic leg.

The Brave Winter webinar was about inspiring people to get outdoors and be the best version of themselves, no matter the weather.

About Ntandokazi Ntozakhe

Production and Content Assistant at Bizcommunity
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