A 47-year-old business woman from South Africa became the first black African woman to climb Mount Everest from base camp to summit and has been lauded by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Saray Khumalo, was part of a group that made several runs at climbing the the top of the world’s highest peak, they were temporarily thwarted by
bad weather, injury and tragedy but showed resilience and perseverance and completed their goal.
“Khumalo is the first African woman to summit Mount Everest, in support of her cause of promoting access to education for African children,” Recently re-elected President Cyril Ramaphosa said on his Twitter account.
“She reminds us that through courage and perseverance, we can achieve our highest ambitions.”
Nepal’s Tourism Department confirmed that Khumalo had made the summit but said they did not capture data that would allow them to confirm if Khumalo was indeed the first black African woman to climb the mountain.
What came before for Saray Khumalo
Strong winds and frostbite forced Khumalo to give up on Everest, just metres from the summit in 2017. In 2015, her expedition was cancelled after massive earthquakes rocked Nepal.
All Everest climbs were halted during her first attempt in 2014 when an avalanche killed 16 guides on the mountain.
Khumalo, who has her own website chronicling her quest to conquer the highest peaks on each continent.
She has already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Elbrus in Russia.
In 2003, South African park ranger Sibusiso Vilane became the first black person to summit Mount Everest.
Khumalo uses her expeditions to raise funds for libraries and support children’s educational activities.
“My dream is to go higher and go further for as long as I breathe. To pave a way for my children and other ordinary people, so we may realise and accept that ordinary people like us can achieve extraordinary heights,” Khumalo said on her website.