Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
25 May 2015
1:00 pm

Climbing Kilimanjaro for girls’ freedom

Genevieve Vieira

While climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for a purpose gives you added motivation to succeed, it doesn't reduce the amount of physical exertion and strength of mind needed to complete the task.

FOR A CAUSE. e.tv Sunrise co-host Penny Lebyane has already been doing charity work in her hometown of Bushbuckridge. Picture: Supplied.

For some people, it’s a personal challenge, for others it’s a sense of adventure, but the most venerable of them all is when you’re doing it to improve someone else’s quality of life. Penny Lebyane, e.tv’s Sunrise co-host, will be climbing Africa’s highest mountain as part of the Trek4Mandela: Caring 4 Girls project – a campaign close to her heart.

Chosen as one of MTN’s Yellow Rose candidates, Lebyane has, since 2012, been working to provide sanitary pads to high school girls in her hometown of Bushbuckridge, before linking up with Richard Mabaso of the Imbumba Foundation – the first male celebrity to campaign publicly for the provision of sanitary products to girls.

She always dreamt of climbing Kilimanjaro and when the opportunity presented itself, she immediately knew she had to do it.

Although she is generally fit and healthy, she wouldn’t call herself a mountain climber, going to great lengths to prepare herself for the journey. “I’ve been training, doing hikes and climbing stairs. I also go to Pilates three times a week,” she said.


That said, Lebyane quoted her mentor, Sibusiso Vilane, an adventurer and motivational speaker, saying “the challenge is more mental than physical”.

“I have been through a lot in my life and I believe all the struggles and adversities I’ve overcome have given me the strength to take this on.”

It’s this message she wants to communicate to girls. “The adversities you face in life are like climbing a mountain. “They can be trying and strenuous, but reaching the top is not impossible. You may be tired, but if you just go another hour or two, you can reach your point of rest and try again tomorrow.”

Lebyane will join a team of 26 personalities embarking on this life-changing journey together. They leave for Tanzania on July 13 and return on July 20.

The initiative aims to raise enough money to ensure 270 000 girls from rural communities are provided with much-needed sanitary pads.