Club changes the stereotype

2019-05-09 06:00
Mkhanyiseli Nogwaja started a hiking club for the community of Khayelitsha.

Mkhanyiseli Nogwaja started a hiking club for the community of Khayelitsha.

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A 30-year-old Mkhanyiseli Nogwaja from Khayelitsha is trying to change the stereotype when it comes to hiking up mountains.

He said a lot of people in the townships think that hiking mountains is for white people and that is something that needs to be changed.

Nogwaja said he was introduced to hiking and taking part in outdoor activities when he joined the Chrysalis Academy.

“We used to work with children teaching them about nature and hiking different mountains,” he said.

He said when his contract with the academy came to an end he decided to bring what he learnt to the people of Khayelitsha.

Nogwaja said last year he decided to start his United Sections of Khayelitsha Club (USK).

He said they offer hiking trips to anyone who is interested and that they also get to experience nature.

He said being with nature can also be very healing because a lot of people keep their problems inside and not talk about them.

“Hiking and being out there with nature is a platform for people to heal because we encourage that people speak out about their problems,” he said.

He said there are a lot of people that have shown interest in hiking because he gets asked to hike with different groups of people.

Nogwaja said he would also love to work with schools from the area.

Like any other organisation USK has its fair share of challenges.

“Funding is the biggest challenge so far because we do hiking for free, people just need to have money for transport and for lunch,” he said.

He is doing this for free because he knows a lot of people in the township are unemployed and he would one day like for them not to pay anything.

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