I have been at a loss for words since the sad and untimely passing of Gugu Zulu. In deep reflection and in a prayer, all I can offer to the Zulu family is a prayer of comfort and peace, especially for his wife Letshego and their baby girl Lelethu. O’ death where is your sting! (1 Corinthians 15:55).

The #Trek4Mandela expedition on Kilimanjaro, should be commended for taking on this epic challenge in order to raise funds for sanitary pads for more than 350000 impoverished girls. Their selfless quest to climb Africa’s highest peak to celebrate Madiba’s birthday is nothing short of extraordinary! We thank you for your courage and will to dare your own lives to make a difference to the girl child. My tribute to the 42 climbers. Salute!

My husband #fatherofthetribe climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2006, he had been training diligently leading up to the climb. I was seriously nervous that he had made up his mind to climb. As a supportive wife I encouraged him. Day 1, I didn’t hear from him, day 2 passed and by day 3, I had lost my nerves, had palpitations, and I couldn’t sleep or eat. I prayed, then hoped, and prayed again. It was towards the end of day 3 that he called to tell me he was fine but had been ill because he was battling to acclimatize to the altitude of about 4600m. He was dehydrated and was feeling very weak, but he was going to continue on his trek. There are three routes, the Mweka, the Shira and the Marangu routes, which he took, and so did Gugu. By grace he did summit and put up his flag! It takes 3 days to go up and 2 days down!!

There are many poignant and sacred moments that climbers do share, which perhaps, you and I who have never attempted to climb the “Roof of Africa”, will never understand. I read in one of the publications the songs that were sung to honour this great son of the African soil. The signature Kilimanjaro anthem, and Jambo, a popular tune, then Shosholoza were sung for Gugu in an emotional final farewell, which “echoed through the mountains”.

Letshego and Lelethu, I don’t know what song to sing for you to ease your heartache and pain, I don’t know what words to say to comfort you – there is nothing clever to say. But remember this though, you married a brave heart, a man who loved and adored you implicitly, and would climb a mountain for you!

Duduzeka Sisi, aluhlanga lungehlanga!

Lala ngoxolo Zulu, Ndabezitha, Zulu omnyama ondlela zimhlophe!

Rest In Peace Gugu Zulu, usikhonzele!!!