On 20 October 2017, Wonder Ndlovu, who grew up in Thokozane, Mkhondo, reached the Mount Everest Base Camp, completing three passes on his way.
Wonder set out from South Africa on 3 October and spent two days in Nepal, to acclimatise, before setting out on the trek to South Base Camp on 10 October, from the eastern Nepal, Lukla Airport. The group took the longest route to Base Camp and first completed three passes before reaching Base Camp, at 5 367 metres (Mkhondo has an altitude of 1 275 metres).
The three passes that were completed are: Goyko Ri (5 368 metres), Chola Pass (5 360 metres) and Kala Patthar (5 545 metres). The biggest challenge that he faced on the route, was the unknown that he could not prepare for. “Even though you spend months preparing for the hike and getting fit, the altitude was still difficult to get used to.” At the highest points of Goyko Ri and Kala Patthar, it became difficult to breath and he had to simply focus on taking the next step.
Wonder enjoys pushing the boundaries, and he definitely sees himself completing the hike to the top of Mount Everest in the future. For him, this challenge is not only about himself. He believes that there are other sports than soccer and netball that can be used to keep the youth off the streets. His dream is therefore to expose the youth of Mkhondo to lesserknown sports, such as hiking, and help take them to even greater heights.
Congratulations to Wonder on completing this tremendous achievement! As he himself says, “this is not a walk in the park.” The community of Mkhondo looks forward to seeing you tackle the next challenge and complete the hike up Mount Everest.