South Africa saw the participation of several people in an annual walk called the Long Walk to Fitness. This walk covers the distance between Pretoria and Mbombela and it takes ten days to complete.

We hooked up with the initiator of the walk, Joseph Mashaba in a quest to get more understanding of how it works and how it will benefit the nation.

Ngozo says the Long Walk to Fitness programme was initiated in honor of the late former President Nelson Mandela. It was basically set to be on July because this is a month where Madiba was born. This annual walk is said to be an instrument that will unite all South Africans and promote a healthy lifestyle. When we asked why the theme for this year is “walk for Madiba and education”, Ngozo elaborated that it meant honoring Mandela month with a great sense of understanding how he promoted education. The founder stated without reservation that the walk was open for everybody.

When we asked about how the walk will improve the fitness of South Africans, Joseph emphasized that walking is normally seen as an easy way of keeping fit, staying active and living a healthy lifestyle so that made it easy to apply while improving you as a person. This walk has got young and old people who are participating in it and some are as old as 61 and 69.

It wasn’t lost on us that a walk like this requires safety and shelter, when we asked how this was provided; Ngozo explained that they have got sponsors who pay for accommodation, food and transport. Participators are said to walk 34km per day in two sets, 17km in the morning and 17km in the afternoon and from there they are transported to their places of sleep. Ngozo says they use reflective vests and are accompanied by a private safety officer with a nurse for their safety and health challenges.

If one wants to participate in the walk, they can follow, like and check the schedule on a Facebook page called Lowveld Walkers. New recruits can be registered for free when they show up for the walk. Ngozo advised that people should stop promising but show up to improve their fitness.