Antarctic trek just a start

2011-11-29 00:00

TEMPERATURES of between minus 30°C and minus 60°C are but small obstacles on the path to a bigger dream for 19-year-old Nzuzo Mnikathi, who will embark on a 111 km trek across Antarctica to the South Pole in January.

The grade 12 pupil is part of a six-man team of South African adventurers who will spend 12 days completing this epic journey.

Mnikathi starts his day with a 15-minute jog from his Oribi home to a gym in Camps Drift where he works out.

“I have never been around the world and when my aunt told me about The Unlimited Child Foundation and this expedition I knew that I had to be part of it.”

He was still mourning the loss of his father who died in 2001 when his mother died in 2003.

“Life was challenging. But now I’m challenging myself to be extra-ordinary by pushing the boundaries,” an emotional Mnikathi said.

While his grandmother is knitting him warm clothes for his journey, he prepares by drinking 10 raw eggs daily, a two-hour work out and walking six kilometres or more in a day.

“We will have to walk for seven to 10 hours a day while pulling a 40kg sledge, so I really need to be prepared. Soon we are going to be starting our freezer training where we spend six hours in a walk-in freezer to prepare our bodies for the climate change,” he explained.

Becoming the youngest black man to trek to the South Pole is just one of his life objectives. The list also includes canoeing and studying environmental science.

“I love nature, outdoor sports and generally keeping fit. I will be learning how to ski soon and seeing the snow for the first time. The sky is the limit,” said Mnikathi.

thandiwe.jumo@witness.co.za

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