Joy as Nzuzo Mnikathi returns home
Durban - There were scenes of joy at King Shaka International Airport on Friday when scores of children welcomed the youngest black person in the world to reach the South Pole.
Nzuzo Mnikathi, 19, landed around noon after spending seven days in the Antarctic as part of a campaign to raise awareness for early childhood development.
KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo, who had promised to be present, did not show up.
However, Mnikathi's supporters - children from Mbalenhle Edu Centre in KwaMashu - did not disappoint him.
He described his experience as "challenging" and the temperatures as deep in minus territory.
"On the third day, I got frostbite and I couldn't ski; I had to use a Ski-Doo [a motorised snow mobile]."
Mnikathi said the expedition team had to ski between eight and 10 times a day with a five-minute break in between.
"Before the expedition I had never put up a camping tent or seen snow. It was extremely cold but also beautiful. It was a privilege for me to have been part of the team."
He credited the team with motivating and encouraging him when he wanted to give up.
"This experience taught me that in life you should never give up, you should be a fighter."
Mnikathi and the team left on January 9 and reached their destination on Sunday morning after covering 111km in seven days.