Running 160km, Nontuthuko hopes to provide 500 Pairs of Shoes to Rural children who walk to school

Nontuthuko Mgabhi (36), a dedicated ultra-runner from Richards Bay, is set to take on a new challenge: the Ultra ASIA, 160km Race in Vietnam from 6-9 March 2023.

Image credit: Vibrant Shots Mzwah

But it’s not about personal achievement or conquering the ultra-running world for Mgabhi. Her mission is much closer to home and about bettering the lives of rural schoolchildren in South Africa. 

Through her various athletic adventures, including becoming the First Female from Africa to run 7 marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Consecutive Days, Mgabhi has raised over R3 million so far, which has been used to provide a variety of resources for learners living in poverty.

Her latest mission is to raise another R140 000 through a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to provide 500 new pairs of school shoes to learners at five different schools in Mseleni on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast, giving children from deep rural villages a fair chance at education.

“A school shoe is not a ‘nice to have’ for children from the rural village. A school shoe can stand in the way, and in some cases it does. Children in rural villages walk a long distance to school (+/- 6km), a school shoe is a necessity, it’s not about looking good but it’s about helping them walk the distance. A school shoe is a mode of transport.” – says Nontuthuko

“I too come from a deep rural village, the village of Mseleni, and it is my desire to inspire hope, especially in the children from the deep rural village. I believe in equal opportunities and it is my wish that children from rural villages get a fair chance to succeed.”

Image credit: Vibrant Shots Mzwah

*All funds raised will be paid directly to the relevant institution.


Press release for immediate distribution: For more information, please contact Zane Groenewald-