Wednesday, 29 May 2013

“A prophet has no honor in his own home…” 

A statement that rings true more often than not. Well except in cases where the prophet comes in the form of ballad makers like Justin Bieber or wealthy business moguls of one caliber or another and it is 5 years after establishing one’s career.
 I am thankful to the many that have shown support, by cautioning the somewhat crazy individuals like myself against taking on more than a mouthful. Negative thoughts fester and when entertained, they can become debilitating. However, I choose to feed negative thoughts to fear, not in a bid to fuel fear but rather in a gesture of defiance that will nauseate fear to the point of bringing up courage.
The realization that Mission Possible Comrades Back to Back is upon us is more evident than ever. As the last few days go by, the anxiety mounts and courage is tempted to travel down the easy road marked "Give up!". 174 km in less than 24 hours may be no mean feat especially for a novice running this distance for the first time, but what stands to be gained is more worthy of dwelling upon.  
News reports in the past week alone, of children who are either perpetrators of crime or victims of it, wrenches at the gut of anyone who has the ability to feel. Running the Comrades Marathon twice this weekend is not just a sporting indulgence but the cry of a heart pleading with every individual to take a moment and make a difference.
Financial contributions will go a long way in furthering the activities of organizations such as Newkidz on the Block for whom I run. However, change will come when men and women lay aside the reasons not to do something and just do it. Just sacrifice a weekend to show a child what it is like to be loved. Just take a few moments to teach a child little things that show them they are worthy and here for a purpose. Just write a letter, pick up the phone or visit those who feel forgotten and forsaken. Change will come, when we see the dreams that could be born with the right foundation instead of just a statistic.

I run because I envision millions of dreams coming true, not because of what I or a few individuals have done but because of what you will do. I run carrying millions of dreams, afraid that if I stop, they may never reach maturity. I run as a page, a mere message bearer of good tidings. Our future is bright, not because of this simple gesture but because you hold the wax to make it shine. Please join me on the 174km journey, in mind, heart and spirit as we carry forward the hope that all children, our children will be raised lovingly and that the broken may find healing for a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Comrades from far and wide

With less than a week to go before the 88th Comrades Marathon, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has issued its Substitution and 2013 Entry statistics for the June 2nd event.
This year’s ‘up-run’ from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, has attracted a total of 19,722 entrants, with male entrants totalling 15,383 and female participants coming in at 4,339.
The month-long Substitution Process has yielded 729 successful Substitution applications.

Women’s participation in the great race has been maintained at 22%. The CMA’s goal is to grow the female entry tally to 30% in the next five years.
4295 Novices have entered the race while a record number of International participants will be taking on the 89km road-running challenge. 1422 foreign runners from nearly 70 countries have signalled their intention to take on the world’s oldest and biggest ultra-marathon, as opposed to 1374 in last year’s race.
The average age of Comrades male participants in this year’s race is 41 and 40 for female runners.
CMA Race Director, Johan Van Staden says, ‘We expect between 15,000 and 16,000 runners at the Comrades Start at 05h30 outside the Durban City Hall on Sunday, 2 June. As usual, we are prepared to host another fantastic Comrades Race Day.’

Monday, 20 May 2013

Yet another "Mission Possible"

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. While some say faith is blind, I believe faith has eyes that see beyond reason. Faith sees possibility where many see failure. Faith sees a way where obstacles mount and restrictions inhibit the individual from being. Faith is what prompted me to take on yet another grueling challenge as part of the Mission Possible campaign to create awareness about Newkidz on the Block as well as raise funds for their projects. 
As a fundraising activist for Newkidz,  I have faith that one day, South Africa will no longer be home to millions of orphans but rather a nation where all children are placed in loving homes and raised to become the best they can possibly be.
It is faith in our future that compelled me to run the Comrades Marathon back to back. On the 1st of June, the night before the official Comrades Marathon race, I will set off from Pietermaritzburg for the first leg of a double Comrades in 24 hours. Upon arrival in Durban on the morning of the 2nd of June, I will join close to 20,000 athletes as they take on the official Ultimate Human race which starts in at the Durban and finishes in Pietermaritzburg. The Comrades Marathon 2013 is an up run, a difficult hilly route which will be a test of physical and mental strength but the race is not my own. I will be running it with over 3 million orphans in mind. At present, South Africa is home to over 3.5 million orphans and the number is set to increase to over 5 million by 2015.

It is this realization that makes me feel the urgency to act now. If we don’t take action now, millions of children will grow up to become broken members of society. By running this race twice, I am hoping people will come alongside these children, either as mentors, foster parents or even adopt the children because Newkidz believes there is no such thing as an unwanted child but just an unfound family. However, we understand that not everyone is able to adopt or foster a child, but we call upon members of society to give whatever they can towards this cause. Whether it is financial support or volunteering to help out at the extreme makeovers Newkidz conducts regularly.

To support Mission Possible please visit and click on: Support Edeline

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mission Possible Comrades Back to Back

 Patience if a virtue I do not claim to naturally possess but one that I have had to cultivate. Next to the patience patch, is a bed filled with hope. Hope that come the 2nd of June, I will be able to embark on a journey that will perhaps bring more change to the lives of many more orphans and vulnerable children  As much as I detest the term "orphan" it is a reality that cannot be denied. A reality that is not only prevalent in South Africa, but across the Sub-Saharan African region, where many are plagued by HIV/AIDS. 
In my garden of hope, grows many varieties. Some varieties more fruitful than others but each one playing its art in keeping the garden alive. While I wait patiently for permission to run the Comrades Marathon back to back and at this stage with no sign whatsoever of the trip coming together, I continue watering the few seeds I planted in days past. Like any sower, I wait for that day when the ground breaks and the shoots of hope are evident but then again, what is faith...the substance of things hoped for...the evidence of things not seen.
Hope differed may make one wroth at heart, yet I hang onto that invisible glimmer of which I am reminded with every heart beat.

A flicker, another long as the heart beats, hope is not lost.
Hope that I will run this for the millions of children who cannot win the race against poverty themselves.
Hope that the body and mind will carry their frustrations, that their future lives may be far much better than their present. Hope that they may not be trapped in a vicious cycles, that draws them deeper and deeper into the womb of pain and misery, never to be birthed.
I have hope that this simple gesture, will be just a nip in the bud of the many challenges that lay ahead and takes away the innocence of childhood. 
I have hope that each one of the 174km will be a victory for each and every one of the over 3.7 million orphans in the country. 
I have even more hope that for every mile I run, one child will find a loving home and experience what it is to be loved and cared for.