Woman with cerebral palsy prepares to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

2018-06-14 12:56
Masingita Masunga is preparing to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. (Supplied)

Masingita Masunga is preparing to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Tears for Zulu as Kilimanjaro climbers return to SA

2016-07-21 11:55

Emotional team members of the Trek4Mandela expedition spoke on Wednesday at OR Tambo Airport of the heartache they experienced at the death of teammate Gugu Zulu who died during a climb on Mount Kilimanjaro.WATCH

A 39-year-old woman diagnosed with cerebral palsy plans on pushing her body to the limit by climbing Africa’s tallest mountain.

Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at an imposing 5 895m, is a physical challenge for even the most seasoned climbers.

But media professional and philanthropist Masingita Masunga is accustomed to exerting herself, as she prepares to summit the mountain for a good cause on Saturday.

"I’m turning 40 this year and I wanted to commit to 40 initiatives. This is about equality – specifically in terms of women with disabilities," Masunga said.

"There is still so much inequality. This [expedition] is for the African child, the child of tomorrow who needs to know that anything is possible."

Months of training

She has been vigorously training for the expedition for more than eight months, despite her physical disability.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that impairs movement and affects muscle tone or posture. It is caused by injuries or abnormalities to the brain, most often before birth.

READ: Medical Diseases: Cerebral Palsy

The condition affects Masunga’s ability to walk, however, she has managed to walk 10km daily in preparation for the climb.

Summiting the great mountain forms part of her 40440 Campaign, which includes donating 20 000 pairs of shoes to disadvantaged children, building 40 houses, and driving from Cape to Cairo.

"I like challenging and pushing boundaries. I always ask myself: 'Am I able to do this?' and my answer is that nothing is impossible," Masunga said.

"The doctors told me that I would never be able to drive, but I learned how to drive, and I have a licence. Now I’m planning on driving from Cape Town to Cairo, so I can speak to young African children. This is for them, because I believe in acting on what I talk about."

Her ultimate goal is to raise money to build a school and develop her own decolonised curriculum.

"What children are being taught in school does not reflect the African continent. I want to develop a curriculum that isn't so limiting to the African child," she explained.

"Africa must be viewed by the rest of the world as an equal, not as a follower."

READ MORE: 'Life inspires me'

Lack of sponsorship

Masunga initially planned on embarking on her adventure up Mount Kilimanjaro with a team of 39 people, however, due to a lack of sponsorship her team has been reduced to eight.

"Getting sponsorship was the most difficult thing about this journey. It makes me feel as if people don’t see us as worthy of their support," she said.

"I'm worried that, 10 years from now, I’ll look back and nothing will have changed."

Those interested in Masunga's journey can follow her social media accounts. A reality TV show of the expedition will be screened at a later date.

A crowdfunding account has been set up to raise funds for the 40440 initiative.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    polokwane  |  good news

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.