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Sibusiso Vilane is a motivational speaker; adventurer, and the first Black Man to summit Everest.
Sibusiso started his mountaineering journey in the Drakensberg in 1996. In 1999 he summited Kilimanjaro and went on to the Himalayas in 2002, where he successfully climbed Pokalde, Lobujé and Island Peak as part of pre-Everest climbs. On 26 May 2003, he stood on the summit of Mount Everest becoming the first black person in the world to achieve this feat. He did it again from the north side in 2005.
He is the first Black African to climb all Seven Summits and achieve the Explorers Grand Slam. He has also walked to both the North and South Poles. He keeps fit by running marathons and ultra-marathons every year including Two Oceans and the Comrades marathon. He hopes to return to Everest for the 20th anniversary of his great achievement.
What are some of your most memorable achievements?
My first Everest climb and summit on 26th May 2003 will always be the most memorable and celebrated. I had come from no climbing experience and fought my way up to the top. Our unsupported walk to the South Pole which made Alex and I the first Africans to achieve this feat is another.
What are the ambitions that you are working towards?
I am returning to Everest base camp this year, arriving on the day I summited the mountain, twenty years ago, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my historic first ascent of Everest. Following that is my plan to take my family to Mount Everest base camp in 2024 so that I can show them the mountain that will be a part of their history for decades.
I also hope to attempt a few other mountains like Lhotse, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and maybe K2 one day. I have conquered yet I still feel that there is a lot in me and so much to out there.
What are some of your top tips?
1) Start small and build the connection between you and the adventure activity. It is important to figure out what makes it enjoyable.
2) Never overthink it, just commit, and go on with it.
3) Mountaineering is never a professional sport, but only social, so never think of material gain. Do it for the love of it.
4) Prepare and plan very well for each adventure plan.
5) Always invest in the correct and appropriate gear for the hike, mountain, or adventure.
6) Never stop following your heart.