Manganya embarks on 900km journey to raise funds for rural schools in Eastern Cape

Thami Manganya started his walk from Wits University in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Thami Manganya started his walk from Wits University in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Image: Matthew Nijland/Wits Vuvuzela

Thami Manganya has embarked on a 20-day walk from Braamfontein in Johannesburg to his home in Dutywa in the Eastern Cape in an effort to raise R1.28m for resources for rural schools in the former Transkei region.

On Tuesday, Manganya, 26, spoke to Sowetan on day three of his walk while he was in Sasolburg, Free State.

"I'm mainly doing this for the poor and underprivileged in the villages. For those who are living the very same life that I lived in the village," he said.

"There are no resources in those schools. You'll find that pupils will be fighting over chairs and desks. We are very under-resourced. The way we live in the villages is not attractive and  people leave to work in the cities, these are very good teachers and professionals because there are better conditions of living in the cities."

Manganya, who is a Bachelor of Arts graduate from Wits University, said this was the right time for him to tackle the 900km journey.

"I haven't been able to find a job, so I decided it would be a good time to do something that is close to my heart. I will strike while the iron is still hot, instead of waiting to do this in the future," he said.

He said in preparation for his trip, he trained by walking five hours a day.

"I'm not yet excessively tired. The issue is my shoes, the ones I have are now torn and I can't walk comfortably," he said.

Manganya is being escorted by a driver from Avis and his friend, who is helping him with social media engagement. He said they slept at a garage on the first day and a friend's home on the second day because of a lack of funds. But he said the cooler weather has made his journey a little bit better.

"I think the weather is very compatible with what I'm doing [walking], so I can't complain," he said.

Manganya urged for people to help them with accommodation and donations for his initiative. He is expected to arrive in Dutywa on June 18, two days after Youth Day.

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