On the 8th of October 2022, the annual Manguzi Gijima race with a focus on people with disabilities was held in Kwazulu-Natal, supported by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) under the Disability Sector.
Manguzi Gijima’s 6th race was an initiative to reach people living with disabilities to take part in a race to challenge the status quo and prove that living with a disability is only a state of mind. This race was under the theme “You Are Not Disabled by the Disabilities You Have; You Are Enabled by the Abilities You Have”. The race however, is not closed to people without disabilities, everyone is allowed to participate – this is to ensure inclusivity and to always walk hand-in-hand alongside people with disabilities.
It was a fun-filled family day with the age of participants ranging from 13 to 50 years old. More than 500 participants gathered to take part in the race, encouraging teamwork and collaboration. Among others, a young girl from a nearby primary school took part in the 10km race wearing uncomfortable shoes. SANAC Executive, Rev Zwo Nevhutalu acknowledged this brave act by raising an amount of about R2500 at the end of the race, to donate to the girl so she can buy proper shoes to race with next time.
The race was an exciting initiative for the whole community of Manguzi, especially people with disabilities. A full basket of healthcare services were provided on the day, which include screening and testing for HIV, TB, non-communicable diseases and mental health. Participants were also treated to a range of information sessions and through posters on how to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
The local Mayor of uMhlabuyalingana Municipality, Mr. Thembinkosi Khumalo, attended the race where he participated in a wheelchair obstacle course and completed it in 59 seconds. SANAC’s Rev. Zwo also participated in a 10km race and completed it in record time. All the winners of the race received in recognition of their efforts and to motivate them to stay fit and participate in the next Manguzi Gijima and other races and sports.