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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

#Ashinthwela announces initiative to run 1500km in 31 days to raise funds for school uniforms

Scarcely fifteen minutes after announcing his bold new initiative, Maphuthi Monyamane was left speechless when those attending the virtual launch pledged R10 000 towards his cause. Better known as bus driver with a heart of gold, this loveable social runner has been championing a drive to raise R105 000 to buy school uniforms for sixty kids from his village of Ga-Matlala in Limpopo for the 2022 academic year. But after collecting just R5000 since the Homecoming Charity Run began in July, he decided to take it up a level.

Bus driver Maphuthi Monyamane AKA #Ashinthwela will run 1500km kilometres over 31 days to raise funds for school uniforms. Photo Credit: Maphuthi Monyamane.

"I know the feeling as a child of going to school with one or two items missing," he told #TheTopRunner during the launch of a month of running he is calling #AshinthwelaFearofUnkown. "You tend to miss lessons, you tend to misbehave at school, sometimes you can even drop out because of that. So I took it upon myself that I want to change the situation," he explained.

It means that Ashinthwela will now complete a total of 1500km between 23 September and 23 October in order to raise the remaining funds. The ordeal will push him to his physical limit as he runs 48km daily and 105km on the very last day. The announcement was met with a combination of excitement and trepidation from his fellow runners who immediately emptied their pockets and pledged a total of R10 000 towards the initiative.

Monyamane's drive struck a chord with Themba Mathebula who completed a similar 450km fundraising run from Johannesburg to Bushbuckridge last December, raising R100 000 for school shoes and sanitary towels for youngsters from his hometown. "If the generation after us can complain about the same things that we complained about, then we would not have lived," were Mathebula's words of encouragement for his running comrade.

Assisted by Brenda Marolen who is the chairperson of Urithi Athletic Club, #Ashinthwela is planning a big day for the final 105km of his epic month of running where others can run alongside him and motivate him across the finish line. In the meantime go to donate, where he is aiming to get R70 from 1500 people in order to make a difference in the lives of rural South African children. "We all know that people who are successful today, somebody out there give them a helping hand. Yes you can work hard, but who's gonna be there to give you that helping hand," he concluded.

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