TABLE Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge is a 600m vertical hike, and Achmat Jackson has vowed to hike it every day for 30 days.
Wanting to give back to the community, the work done at Ihata Shelter for Abused Women in Heideveld and last month’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children inspired him, he said.
“(A period of) 16 days was not enough, I am doing the charity challenge for the betterment of abused women and young children at the Ihata Shelter, and at the same time feeding my passion.”
He has been hiking up Platteklip daily since December 1.
His Facebook page documents each day he hikes and provides details of where donors can contribute R10 for each day. Donors were encouraged to give whatever they could, he said.
“I don’t focus on the donations, just the hike, the support and awareness”, said Jackson, who has traversed Kilimanjaro thrice, climbed peaks in South America, and Mount Elbrus in Russia.
Nuraan Osman, director of the Ihata Shelter, said the awareness and support created in Jackson’s challenge has been amazing, and the donations received were greatly appreciated.
“For these women, having a man literally climbing a mountain for them is just an incredible sentiment,” said Osman.
The Ihata Shelter houses up to 25 women and children at any given time, and helps them return to society in a better state. Programmes offered include life coaching, skills development and psychological development and counselling.
Osman said the shelter also tackled social issues, providing soup kitchens in the community and aiding women struggling with addiction.
Osman said she believed that united, South Africa can create a violence-free society. Her motto to women in abusive relationships is: “She needed a hero and then she became one.”
Jackson is taking on his 23rd hike today. His day starts at 4am with a protein-rich breakfast, then it is off to Platteklip.
The hike up the mountain starts at about 5am and can take up to an hour and a half. The descent is much quicker – about 45 minutes.
The hike has been mostly pleasant so far and weather conditions had not been that bad. Osman said that due to other commitments and being short-staffed, staff at the shelter have not yet joined Jackson, but may be there on his last day to support and celebrate his achievement.
Jackson, though, takes it in his stride and will be back tomorrow at 5am, saying he will continue doing so every day until December 30