Keeping the dream alive


On 2 June blind runner Mandla Zwane (32) will start the Comrades Marathon ? which will begin in Durban and end in Pietermaritzburg this year ? wearing a new pair of running shoes.

Mandla, a former learner at the Arthur Blaxall School for the Blind in Pietermaritzburg, was born blind but this has never deterred him from taking part in sport. At school he played soccer and participated in athletics; after matric he started taking part in road-running events.

National shoe retailer Tekkie Town’s bosses were so moved by Mandla’s story after reading about him in YOU earlier this year they decided to present him with a new pair of running shoes. KwaZulu-Natal area manager Ettienne van Zyl delivered the shoes to Mandla’s home in Nongoma, Zululand.

“We were inspired by Mandla’s story. For many it’s just a pair of shoes, but for Mandla it’s more than that. If we can help someone fulfil his dreams with a pair of shoes we’re only too glad to help,” Francétte van Rooyen of Tekkie Town says.

“I’m so grateful,” Mandla said when we called him afterwards. “Before I couldn’t train as much as I wanted to because I was worried my running shoes would wear out and I didn’t have money to buy new ones. Now I can train as much as I like.”

In fact Tekkie Town’s kind deed has inspired him to trainer harder than ever. “And you can’t believe how comfortable the new shoes are!” he adds.

- Alet van Zyl

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