Running the marathon is an indescribable feeling

Zakhele Ngema has also participated in the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon.

Zakhele Ngema has also participated in the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon.

Published May 27, 2024


Durban — Zakhele Ngema, a Grade 12 maths and science teacher from KwaNongoma, is gearing up for the Comrades Marathon “up run” from the City Hall in Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

Ngema, 42, is also a gospel presenter on radio, the winner of the SABC Crown Gospel Awards, which he scooped in 2018, and the founder of the maths and science upgrading centre Sicija Ngolwazi.

“After my mother’s passing due to diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure in 2019 and many failures and personal disappointments I faced in life during that period, I decided to get into something that could divert my mind from all the pain and to get back my self-esteem,” Ngema said.

Zakhele Ngema has also participated in the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. | Supplied

“A friend of mine invited me to watch the Comrades Marathon in 2019 and this was two weeks after my mother’s passing.

“I agreed and what I saw in Durban at the starting line of the Comrades Marathon blew my mind away. Many runners were lining up, they were singing and chanting in high spirits and that is when I decided that the following year I would be among them to dedicate my Comrades run to my late mother,” he said.

Ngema said Covid-19 forced him to hold on to this dream until 2022 when, according to him, he fell in love with running.

Ngema said the feelings he had about competing in such a major event can’t be explained but they brought a sense of self-fulfilment.

“Running has taught me to compete only with myself. Each and every year I run, I always try to train just to break my previous running time and this is what makes this sport more interesting.”

Ngema tries to be adequately prepared for the race, although this is difficult due to his busy schedule.

“It takes me six months to prepare for the Comrades and, fortunately for me, I do have coaches and a club that give me training programmes to follow. It makes it easier for me to train and condition my body for race day,” he said.

Ngema hopes to break his best running time and is looking forward to doing just that in this year’s event.

Sunday Tribune