SA’s first black female summits Mt. Everest

Posted on 16 May 2019

Saray N’kusi Khumalo summited Mount Everest in the early hours of Thursday, 16 May 2019, becoming the first black African woman to reach the top of the 8,848 m peak.

The announcement came from the Summits with a Purpose Facebook page at 5.15am. It stated, ‘A short while ago Saray N’kusi Khumalo reached the top of the world. With her birth in Zambia, Rwandan bloodline and now a South African, this sister of Africa has achieved her goal of becoming the first black woman from Africa to summit Mount Everest.’

According to an article by News24, it was Khumalo’s fourth attempt at summiting the world’s highest mountain. In 2017, due to poor weather conditions, Khumalo had to be rescued by helicopter, preventing her from summiting.

In her attempts previous to that, an earthquake in Nepal and an avalanche had also prohibited her from summiting.

Khumalo has been determined to summit the highest peak of each continent in aid of children’s education. According to the Facebook post, In 2012 Khumalo summited Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) and raised money for the Lunchbox Fund in the process.

The Summits with a Purpose post continued, “She summited Mt Elbrus in 2014 and Mt Aconcagua in 2015. She became a Nelson Mandela Libraries ambassador and raised nearly R1 million for school libraries.”


This year she returned to successfully summit Mount Everest in support of the Dr Thandi Ndlovu Foundation.


Image source: Facebook @summitswithapurpose

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