Meet Sibusiso Vilane, the man who helped a girl with cerebral palsy climb mount Kilimanjaro

Meet Sibusiso Vilane, the man who helped a girl with cerebral palsy climb mount Kilimanjaro

Meet Sibusiso Vilane, the man who helped a girl with cerebral palsy climb mount Kilimanjaro

Surprising stories are what makes life so inspiring, they’re what pulls us out of our daily routine and leave us to believe that anything is possible. And without those who push their limits further, reaching out for their dreams, we wouldn’t be able to develop our own strength and willpower.

Today we would love to introduce you to Sibusiso Vilane, the first south African who climbed mount Everest twice and the author of the book To the top from nowhere. He takes us on a journey on motivation, determination, empathy and much more than that. He also tells us how he helped Masingita, a girl with cerebral palsy, conquer mount Kilimanjaro.

Sibusiso Vilane, the man who climbed mount Everest twice

Meet Sibusiso Vilane, the man who helped a girl with cerebral palsy climb mount Kilimanjaro

Sibusiso climbed mount Everest not once, but twice and he hopes that through his actions he continues to inspire people from all over the world

He tells me how growing up, he didn’t really have a home as his parents separated and he was taken cared of by his grandmother for some time. His life had been a rollercoaster and he finds himself humbled profoundly by where he is today. When he was about 5 and 10 years old many people probably would say he wouldn’t have much of a future but he already knew that only himself can put limits to what he can do and that he could achieve anything. 

Regardless of your background, of your physical ability or disability, if you have the mind and the heart to achieve the things, you will do it.

His main focus was to get to the point of getting a job, earning money, maybe building a house for your family, so part of his agenda wasn’t climbing mountains. When he finished high school he got a job in a game reserve in a wilderness area in Swaziland and that’s where he grew his love for nature and the connection to wildlife and that’s where he also met John, a British high commissioner to Southern Africa at that time. 

I accompanied him through a hike and it was during that hike that he said to me, “you climb with such ease and you show no fear and it makes me wonder why there are not that many climbers coming from Africa. And that was the start of this big ambition, to go and climb Everest...I believed that we have what it takes to climb mountains like everybody[…]

The thing is, I draw so much strength on mountains.I love running marathons and I’ve grown to love pushing myself physically. I have so much potential and capability that I will never know my full potential. So that is why I keep going.

He helped a girl with cerebral palsy climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Meet Sibusiso Vilane, the man who helped a girl with cerebral palsy climb mount Kilimanjaro

Masingita Masunga, a girl with cerebral palsy reached out to him to accompany her in her journey to mount Kilimanjaro’s summit. This is the story of determination, passion, ambition and is inspiring to everyone listening. That’s why we are happy to share it here.

I have climbed the seven highest mountains in the seven continents, I climbed mount Everest twice, and on Kilimanjaro, that’s where I helped a girl with cerebral palsy on her way up.

For me it was humbling, it was profound, it told us the story where i realised that we are not limited by our physical ability but by the strength that we have. It was her mental strength, she was very strong in the mind. And in one of her toughest days, she said to me,’’I have a problem’. I don’t believe in the impossible.

Masingita called him and asked him to come with her on the trip and they arranged a meeting to get to know each other. Masingita said to him, ‘’here’s my story, mount Kilimanjaro has been one of the things that I wanted to do in my life. ‘’

And I was expecting, just like anyone else, just like any able-bodied person, for her to ask me, ‘’do you think I can do it’’? Then I realized when she didn’t ask this, that she had the right mindset. I helped her train and get more physical strength, to carry a backpack, and so on, and close to the date that we decided we will travel together to Tanzania, her brother wanted to come along, as well as one of her friends.

Masingita Masunga, encouraging others to walk in each other’s shoes

Masingita Masunga was born in Giyani Limpopo and despite her physical challenges, by dealing with cerebral palsy, she still got her driver’s licence after 8 years of trying, started her own TV show, summited Kilimanjaro and now she is inspiring others to walk in each other’s shoes.

‘’Walk in my shoes’’ is an initiative created by Masingita and its aim is to rally society to unite and help others by donating shoes. Good things guy wrote about her story and about her journey on mount Kilimanjaro and thus helping spread their story far and wide. You can check out her channel here and her campaign Walk in my shoes on Youtube on SBC News.

Masingita is proof that no matter what you set your mind to, you can achieve it. And even though you might keep failing and failing, you got to keep trying because one day you will succeed. 

A disability cannot stop you from your dreams

Meet Sibusiso Vilane, the man who helped a girl with cerebral palsy climb mount Kilimanjaro

On day one, she was way in the front, we paced her. She walked by herself, stepping freely, because she couldn’t hold her trekking poles. It inspires me to see how she took on the challenge. She was struggling to pick up her feet, almost losing balance. Just seeing that, it made me think that she seemed to forget about her disability. And what struck me was when we were into one of the intermediate camps, I warned her not to look at the people coming from the summit, as they all look goomy and drained. But she didn’t listen and she even listened to their stories, and she was glad she did. And she told me, ‘’When I left home, I didn’t say I was trying to attempt to summit Kilimanjaro, I said I am going to summit mount Kilimanjaro’’.

Listen to our video interview to hear the entire story :

The insecure moments and how you get through them

I cannot help but wonder how a man such as Sibusiso can even have insecure moments. But when I asked him if he does, he said yes.

 I do find myself in those moments. But in my first mount Everest expedition, we had done all the work to get to base camp, we had done the acclimatization program. And then you move to your final summit attempt.

He then goes on to tell us the story of agonizing days, going up and failing summiting, coming back down again, then trying again, how weather and the mental challenge played a big role in the difficulty of the situation, but in the end, mental strength prevailed. Learning from the lessons and being strong in your mind is what helps you get through them.

Trusting your mind and helping you stay in a situation where others think it’s demotivating. It’s our mind. […]

We will always lie and deceive ourselves by saying that we know our limitations. If you could stretch your potential, if it would be elastic, you could stretch it forever. 

We hope you enjoyed this interview as much as all the other ones. Stay tuned for more amazing, inspiring stories on our Blog. Write to us if you know one as well.

Stasism is a revolutionary new social online platform with therapeutic physical video games made exclusively for people with Cerebral Palsy. The first of its kind, delivering a constant stream of new and exciting games, characters, features and much more, leading to a happier childhood. Discover how.

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Olivia Dejeu
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