Jumba is running victoriously

2019-04-11 06:00
Unassuming, but purposeful, invisible by choice but strangely indispensable – that is who Johnson Jumba is.               Photo:SUPPLIED

Unassuming, but purposeful, invisible by choice but strangely indispensable – that is who Johnson Jumba is. Photo:SUPPLIED

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UNASSUMING but purposeful, invisible by choice but strangely indispensable – that is who Johnson Jumba is.

Groundsman at Pharos School, but more than that – he is friend and mentor of many learners, especially those who share his passion for physical and mental fitness.

This Two Oceans and Comrades athlete became part of the Pharos team after meeting with headmaster Fanie Vermaak, who was with another school at that stage. A quaint friendship developed, and he has been with the present school ever since.

What makes Jumba exceptional is his humble beginnings, sheer determination and self-discipline, which not only led to his becoming an exceptional and highly reliable groundsman, but also a man living his dream as athlete and mentor for his local club as well as school athletes.

Born on a farm in Alexandria and attending John Masiza school in Port Elizabeth, he played rugby and developed a passion for running. Following the death of his parents, he moved to Jeffreys Bay in search of a job. After a few attempts he ended up with Pharos, where he developed his natural talent for mentoring athletes.

Having attended the SA Championship for track items, he decided to join teacher Celida Trahms in a 10km race. This motivated him to take part in long distance running, and the two have been at it ever since.

Apart from his huge input at the school, where he has become a natural trainer of the athletes and learners partaking in other fitness activities, he serves the JBay community as a committee member of the local running club Jeffreys Bay Striders. Since he is a passionate road as well as trail runner, his motivation has been keeping many athletes going – irrespective of their fitness level.

He has lived his dream to complete the Two Oceans as well as the Comrades marathons before age fifty. His time for the former improved from 6h11 in 2017 to 5h49 in 2018, and for the latter from 10h39 (2017) to 9H50 (2018).

This humble sportsman, described by some as “the most honourable man one will ever meet,” and a “dedicated husband and father of four children, and man of unimpeachable morals,” is at age 45 ready to once again put his money where his mouth is: he has entered to complete the marathons for the third time. And being the man that he is, he is aiming at doing even better than last year.

He is, however, in need of financial assistance.

If members of the public wish to make his dream come true, they can contact Leanne Daniels at 079 912 3175 or ldaniels5357@gmail.com.

Anyone interested in joining the JBay Striders, can contact Celida Trahms at 082 933 6006. Application forms are available at Smhart Security Offices.

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