8 March 2013

Tanzania: Hadzabe Woman Sets Mount Kilimanjaro Record

Moshi — A TEACHER at Endamaghan Primary School, Anna Philipo Indaya, set a national record on Tuesday morning, this week, after she became the first woman from the Hadzabe tribe, a nearly extinct group with just under 1,000 people left, to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Ms Indaya, accompanied by her fellow Tanzanian, Ashura Kayupayupa, World Food Programme (WPF) Ambassador Against Hunger in South Africa, Hlubi Mboya and seven Nepalese women, reached the roof of Africa on Tuesday at around 7am.

The all-women expedition team, including an all-men crew of film makers - James Gimbrone and Russ Praseau began the ascent via Machame route and descended through Mweka route, reaching the gate at 2.10pm, with some shedding tears of joy.

The Nepalese climbers had, prior to conquering Mount Kilimanjaro, reached highest peaks on seven continents such as Mount Everest in Asia, Mount Kosciuszko in Australia and Mount Elbrus in Europe.

Backers of the five-day expedition are the United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania National Parks in collaboration with Childreach International, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working with local communities in Tanzania, to help improve children's access to education and healthcare.

The Nepal women climbers include Nimdoma Sherpa (21), a former WFP school meals beneficiary who together with her colleagues, reached the summit of Mount Everest in 2008. She is currently the wall climbing champion in Nepal. Others are Shailee Basnet (29), Pujan Acharya (28), Perma Diki Sherpa (26), Chunu Shrest (30), Asha Kumar Singh (28) and Maya Gurung (33).

Speaking to the 'Daily News' after her landmark achievement, Ms Indaya said everything was possible where there is determination, adding that it was a misconception that women cannot do what men do.

Ms Mboya, who is probably best known for her role as Nandipa in the successful South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC 3) soap opera, Isidingo, had this to say, "The climb is about making friends with your challengers. Climbing is a metaphor of life."

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