On a chilly December morning of the 8th Bantu Hikers (BH) greeted the festive season with a gentle hike and picnic and most importantly to take a moment to celebrate the achievements of our matric and first year varsity students. As fate would have it we also bid farewell to one of the professionals who is returning to the Eastern Cape. Deer Park, at the foot of Table Mountain laid out the place we would connect with new friends and reconnect with old ones.
The morning began with a round of introductions and humor to set us off an exciting walk. The relative ease of the trail and short duration allowed for intense photography and instagramming, who can resist to share the beautiful landscape of the city, Table Mountain and Lions Head with the masses on the internet? Tis’ the season of FOMO after all!
The walk was followed by a picnic and mini prize giving where our students were given certificates for participating in the mentorship programme. Each student had the opportunity to reflect on one of their most memorable moments with Bantu hikers.
Khanyisa shared that BH taught her to be consistent and if you are serious about your dreams you will achieve them.
Avumile recalls a workshop that was hosted at UCT and the lesson he remembers is to always run your race and not to compare yourself to others.
Hlonipha remembers how tough her first hike was which was Lions Head. She concisely expresses her lesson in these words: “What seems insurmountable can be achieved”.
Patricia reflected on how difficult it was being consistent and committed especially when things got tough and she is grateful for the motivation she received through BH.
Even though we could not celebrate with all our students as they disperse as soon as the school holidays begin, we celebrate their achievements all the same and wish them well in their future endeavours. We bid farewell to the 2017 cohort who are fledging from the two-year mentorship programme and continue to walk the journey with the 2018 group transitioning into university. We are grateful that we have manged to retain our students like Lukhanyo who was part of the first group in 2015. He has been a great example to the subsequent groups and has inspired the organisation to keep mentoring. It is incredible to witness the growth of our students and celebrate their accomplishments as they successfully transition into university life and excel academically.
The continued support from our professionals keeps BH going. Without the monthly commitment to the hikes BH would not be as impactful. Our professionals are mirrors to our students, they display what is possible. We are grateful for the new members for supporting the movement and committing to walk the journey with us as we grow a solid bridge upon which our students can traverse towards a more hopeful future.
It starts with one step… 2019 we are ready for you!
Note: Deer Park trail is more of a walk then a strenuous hike, ideal for all ages and fitness levels.
Heads up: The spot is popular with cyclists and dogs