WATCH | 'She was not about to quit' - Thuli Madonsela summits Kiliminjaro in spite of glucose scare

2019-08-12 21:22
Thuli Madonsela (Imbumba Foundation)

Thuli Madonsela (Imbumba Foundation)

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Professor Thuli Madonsela is planning on returning to Mount Kiliminjaro next year after summiting with the Trek4Mandela group on Women's Day in spite of a glucose scare.

"Don't judge me girls," said Madonsela in a video posted on the Trek4Mandela page after she and a group of more than 20 people had made it to the top of Africa's highest mountain on Friday.

She explained that as she was walking, suddenly she could not see anything. 

"All of the rocks looked like little snowflakes, like clouds, and that's then when things [got] complicated a bit," she explained in the video clip. 

It was concluded the former Public Protector had a dip in her glucose levels. 

She explained all this was due to changing her eating patterns after trying on a pair of track pants a few days before they left and finding them a little tight due to a recent trip to Italy. 

The climb was to help raise funds to keep girls in school in conjunction with the Imbumba Foundation whose chief executive is Richard Mabaso.

"Don't judge me girls," said Madonsela in explaining what made her glucose levels dip.

"I gained weight when I was in Italy because the food was really nice," she said to chuckles. 

She went "totally protein" a few days before the climb, but her body was not happy about this as she and the other climbers tackled Africa's tallest mountain.

Many who have tried to climb Kiliminjaro, including extremely fit people, have been unable to get to the Uhuru Peak in Tanzania, which is 5 895m above sea level, due to altitude sickness and lowered amounts of oxygen.

Mabaso told News24: "She was not about to quit." 

He and accomplished mountaineer Sibusiso Vilane bring together people from different backgrounds to help raise funds and create awareness about the Caring4Girls programme.

Madonsela continued climbing and made it to the top. 

Among the others to summit were Sello Hatang from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and UKhoziFM's "Mroza" Buthelezi.


Madonsela said she felt a little wobbly and when she summited the peak she could not tell whether it was day or night, just seeing the lights of the headlamps around people's faces. 

"But, it didn't really matter because it made me make the decision instantly that I'm going back next year." 


The Trek4Mandela Expedition is to raise funds to help girls get sanitary pads so that they do not miss out on any schooling during their menstruation cycles. 

Mabaso said everybody on the trip had a great time. 

"Everyone took it up to make sure they were there for each other," he said. 

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