Unogwaja also goes on foot

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On Friday 1 May 2015 John McInroy and Robert Le Brun of Unogwaja will set out to cover the distance from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg on foot.

The Unogwaja Challenge started in 2011 with a small group of people cycling from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg in ten days and then running the Comrades to emulate Phil Masterton-Smith, who’s nickname was Unogwaja the Zulu word for hare. In 1933 he couldn’t afford the train fare from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg and so he cycled the distance instead before running the Comrades Marathon.

The cycle challenge will remain at the heart of Unogwaja but we wanted to open the journey to all. Unogwaja on foot, means anybody can take part in the journey for as long or short a distance as they can. The Unogwaja is not just about a cycle or a run but is a journey of hope that we want as many to be able to take part in as possible and call their own,” says John McInroy, founder of Unogwaja.

In 2013, McInroy recalls cycling past a young boy just outside Lady Frere who came running to the side of the road with his hand in the air, shouting “Unogwaja! Unogwaja!” This year he hopes that boy and many others across the approximately 1,650 km route will physically form part of the journey.

This year is the first step in establishing this journey within our country that we hope will grow over time into something that inspires our nation to come together,” concludes McInroy.

The journey on foot starts from the Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel at 7am on Friday 1 May and is open to everyone to join for the opening kilometer to the Grand Parade in order to be part of this historic occasion. The Unogwaja Challenge team, which consist of 11 cyclists, will pedal off from the Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel in Cape Town on Thursday 21 May at 04:00am. On 30 May the two teams will unite in Pietermaritzburg and enter the city together as one. The following day they aim to take on the Comrades Marathon together.

As of today, R685,379 has been raised for the Unogwaja Light Fund. It is hoped that by the end of this campaign Unogwaja will have collectively raised over R2million which will be used to support projects focused on empowerment and not dependency.

For more details about the foot journey, the Challenge and the Light Fund please visit and join the conversation on #unogwaja

For interviews, questions or additional information please contact:
Nadia Louw at or 072 071 3058

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