By Staff Reporter
The 3rd Giyani Annual Run(GAR) brought change to the lives of many indigent local girls. Prior to the day of the race on 26 December 2019, Nikiwe Chauke (Mhana Fana) started a campaign on Twitter challenging her followers to donate sanitary towels, where she committed to run 500 metres for each pack donated.
Her aim for collecting these Sanitary towels is to restore hope and dignity of the less fortunate girls in and around Giyani. She set herself a lofty goal of running 35 km in order to collect 75 packs. Her dogged determination and sheer guile saw her exceeding all expectations, in the end managing to collect over 140 packs, which is double her initial target.
She managed to finish the race in over 5 hours under the sweltering heat of Giyani. Her feat is more impressive considering the drastic rise in temperature from 18 to blazing 41°C during the course of the race.
“At about 26 kilometres, I thought of quitting, but my mind kept reminding me of the reason for starting the race,” said Nikiwe.
Chauke’s unbreakable determination to finish the race despite the odds left an indelible mark and impressed organizers, sponsors and her fellow runners alike. Spurred on by the disire to breach the finish line, Chauke declined multiple offers to abandon the race and hitch a ride with them.
“I am thankful for the support that I have received from my fellow runners who took me to training, and also those who cheered me on, not forgetting those who donated,” added Nikiwe.
Her commitment to the cause triggered everyone’s hearts, from the organizers, who offered her R500 for keeping her promise to her twitter mates. Meanwhile, the sponsor, Giyani SuperSpar offered to match the number of sanitary pads she collected.
She made a plea for more donations from the good samaritans of Giyani. She said that the drive to collect more sanitary towels is still open and will close on 17 January 2020.
For her, this race was and is a milestone because the longest distance she previously ran was 15km. She said she derived motivation in knowing that she was doing it for a less fortunate girl child, and added that this gave her the much needed impetus to finish the race.