At Virgin Money - Insurance like it should be we are proud to have sponsored Sibusiso in "The Goliath Challenge" - to conquer the North Pole and become the first Black person in the world to complete the Three Poles Challenge - The North Pole, South Pole and Mount Everest. Congratulations once again Sibusiso!
Read more about Sibusiso.
See pictures from Sibusiso’s journey.
Hear interviews with Sibusiso.
While Sibusiso ventured out to conquer his Goliath Challenge, we invited members of the public to enter the Goliath Challenge Competition, held in partnership with 94.7 Highveld Stereo. Everyone was invited to take part in a chance to be one of five lucky winners to receive a share of R300 000 that would go towards their own Goliath that they wanted to conquer. To stand a chance, all that had to be done was to submit a written motivation about their challenge. Congratulations to our winners - we’re proud to be a part of your Goliath Challenge!
Want to see the winners? Click here.
South African mountaineer and inspirational speaker Sibusiso Vilane has tackled a gruelling expedition to the North Pole!
This proudly South African feat made him the first Black person in the world to complete the Three Poles Challenge – an adventurer’s challenge to reach the North Pole, South Pole and Mount Everest.
His road to extreme climbing was as rocky as his second Everest summit, which made him the first black African to climb the world’s highest peak twice by different routes. His journey began in Swaziland where he worked as a cattle herder from the age of seven. In fact, he didn’t attend school until he was 10 years old because the money he earned from this job was so vital to his family’s survival.
He moved from cattle herder to game ranger, where he met John Doble in 1996 - the man who was to become his first mentor in the art of climbing, greatest friend, and the benefactor of many of his expeditions. Doble encouraged him to join him on a hike whilst he was still a ranger and during that excursion saw in Sibusiso real potential to do more in this field as well as a deep desire to strive for more in his own life.
From strength to strength, Sibusiso worked hard to reach his goals and now says, “I cannot live without an expedition.” This strong statement is echoed in his triumphs, such as becoming the first Black African to become a member of the Seven Summits club. This exclusive club can only be joined by those who have climbed the highest mountains of each the seven continents.
And it’s not just the excitement of completing remarkable challenges - like successfully climbing Pokalde, Lobujé and Island Peak (all over 6 000 metres high) in the Himalayas. For Sibusiso, it is also to send a message of hope and motivation to others. “I would love to see others following in my footsteps,” says Vilane, so that they too can achieve exceptional things if they take hold of the opportunities afforded them.
Mr Wade Van Nelson
I’m fascinated by aeroplanes and as I grew older my heart longed to experience flight. My 2 best friends and I are first-years studying professional cookery and part of our studies include an exchange programme where 9 students go to Berlin and 9 of them come here for 3weeks at a cost of R20 000 per student. Bursaries organised by family friends fund our tuition as we come from broken homes where our single mothers are unemployed. R60 000 wont only secure our places and enhance our culinary skills but enrich our studies as we take to the skies.
Mr Stan Andrews
I was born with a deformed right foot which was later amputated. I now have an artificial right leg and I would like to summit Mt Kilimanjaro. It has been my long standing dream to accomplish this not only for my own self improvement / fulfilment but also for the awareness I can bring to people living with disabilities. If I can inspire others along the way what a bonus as my long term goal is to become a motivational speaker and adventurer. Please allow me to conquer my Goliath. As Johnny Walker says: Keep Walking.
My Goliath is taken for granted by millions of kids every single day. For Ten years I have dreamed about finishing school this is it! Poverty may have won the first round but I will not fall defeated second time round. This is my chance to finish school my chance to prove my own self-worth, my chance to conquer a 10 year dream of just getting educated.
Mr Stefano Maiorana
The Great Kei River Challenge I want to walk and raft the entire length of the Great Kei River in the Eastern Cape; South Africa. My Goliath Challenge will enable me to cross into unchartered local territory. I hope to assemble a team that will venture into virtually unexplored land as we journey from source to mouth. I plan on conducting meaningful research into water quality and pollution levels as many communities rely heavily on this river. This 530 kilometre adventure will see us confronting harsh natural elements as we mix extreme adventure with environmental investigation and exploration.
I am currently staying in a rural village and unemployed. I have a couple of cousins with the same condition. So we decided to try and open a business whereby we can sell rooibos tea to local markets (i.e. hospitals mining industries etc.). We are all women and have registered a cooperative organization but our main challenges are resources. In this situation we need a storage delivery vehicle and an office where we can run our business. We would greatly appreciate if we can get assistance with our basic needs to start the business and eradicate poverty.