Lynne Forbes takes on Kilimanjaro

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The philanthropist chats to us about her upcoming Kilimanjaro summit for Mandela Day.

Lynn Forbes

Caring4girls ambassador and mother to one of SA’s biggest hip-hop artists AKA, Lynne Forbes chats to us about her upcoming Trek4Mandela challenge. By Kwanele Mathebula

Image: Lynnne Forbes IG

Summiting Kilimanjaro is a childhood dream of mine. It’s the place I escaped to as an 11-year-old during the time of my sexual abuse. I am passionate about education and making an impact in the lives of children in SA. I believe each one of us have a social responsibility and that it’s our duty to make sure no child spends most of their adult lives recovering from their childhood. Coincidentally, I also wanted to climb Kili to celebrate my 50th birthday which is when we will begin the summit. Fulfilling this life-long dream has been made possible by my son and his AKA foundation which I will be representing on the trek.

Training for the summit began in January. We have been hiking every month at Suikerbosrand and in the Drakensberg and have also been given a training program to follow in preparation for the summit on the 18th of July. I have always been an active person so training hasn’t been difficult; instead I’ve added boot camp to my training. At the moment, I train at least six days a week for an hour and do at least 10-15km of hiking once a week. The preparation hasn’t just been physical, it’s also required us to prepare mentally. Personally, I have done this through reading on Mount Kili, watching documentaries and spending a lot of time relaxing. I am also on vacation at the moment to get away from everything and relax and prepare myself holistically for the challenge ahead of me.

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Managing my time has been a major challenge in preparing for the summit. Reigning in my focus has been challenging because of the work that I do. I have had to become very disciplined and selective of how, what and where I spend my time. Also, things that are out of my control like falling ill have hindered my ability to train. But I’m back to my healthy self and back on track with training.

I am excited to spend time with the Trek4Mandela 2018 Expedition group. The group consists of incredible people such as my best friend Xavier Saer who is the Expedition photographer and a couple of my very close personal friends. This will be a memorable experience for all of us and to get to go through it with them is thrilling. I am also happy that I will be making a positive impact in the lives of young girls by helping to raise funds for Caring4Girls to help them achieve their goal of supporting 2 million school girls with sanitary wear by 2020. This will help keep them in school, restore their dignity and propel them into carving out a great future for themselves.

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My advice to people considering to summit Mount Kili is to respect the mountain. This is a very serious and dangerous challenge and they need to fully understand what they will be committing to. They need to prepare thoroughly to give themselves the best chance of success. Also, it’s important that they understand and accept that the summit is not guaranteed. And they should have fun and enjoy every moment!