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Do One Thing

Author: Steuart Pennington | Monday, 19 November 2012

Steuart PenningtonSouth Africans are extraordinary people. I came across this story recently, and although we have featured part of it before, it bears repeating. Braam Malherbe is a South African; an extreme adventurer with a simple cause which challenges all of us: DO ONE THING (DOT) in order to make a positive difference for our planet and to do something about which our children can smile!

In 2006 and again in 2008 (against our country’s top medical and sport experts’ advice), Braam Malherbe and running partner, David Grier, achieved two world firsts – by running the entire length of the Great Wall of China, a distance of 4218 kms, at a pace of a marathon a day for 98 days, as well as the entire coastline of South Africa, a distance of over 3200 kms. These expeditions raised an amount in excess of R2.5 million for Operation Smile, an international charity organisation providing corrective surgery for children born with cleft lip and cleft palate disfigurements.

Braam currently presents the SABC2 nature programme 50/50. He was voted Men’s Health 2010 Unsung Hero and recently named the Woolworths "My Planet" Ambassador. Braam believes that "desperate times call for desperate measures ",and so, at 54 years of age, he took part in a 768 km unassisted ski-race to the South Pole with his friend, Peter van Kets, during December 2011 and January 2012. Although only skiing for the first time a mere 8 weeks before departing for Antarctica, they still finished in 3rd place. Besides representing South African in the Scott/Amundsen Centenary Race, Braam and Pete also featured in a 90 minute documentary highlighting the human impact on this most remote of places, as well as the rest of the planet, in the last 100 years.

Braam urges us to teach our children to:

  • Have respect for themselves.
  • To respect others.
  • To respect the environment.
  • To develop the gift of giving.  

It’s a pity really that much of our political leadership who, given great opportunity in 1994 to demonstrate these values, has succumbed to such avarice, selfishness and nepotism. In particular our ministers of Health, Education, Labour and Public Service and Administration should meet with Braam to discover how to DOT right.

Steuart Pennington is CEO of SA - the Good News

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