'We're just as capable' - Saray Khumalo urges black women to break boundaries

Saray Khumalo made international news exactly a week ago when she and other team members reached the top of the world.

Saray Khumalo on Mount Everest in Nepal. Picture: Saray Khumalo/Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - South African mountaineer Saray Khumalo said on Thursday now that she has become the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest, it was time more women grabbed opportunities to make history.

Khumalo was in Nepal adjusting to increased oxygen levels at ground level before heading back home next week.

She made international news exactly a week ago when she and other team members reached the top of the world.

“Why has it taken so many years for a black female to actually summit the mountain? Oh, my goodness,” she exclaimed.

Now that Khumalo has reached her dream to become the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest, she hopes more women will break boundaries.

“Let’s find other things that we haven’t done and also create a space at the table and let more of us show the world that we can do what we want to do, when we want to do it and how we want to do it. We’re just as capable.”

Khumalo, who is not only being praised by family and friends for her personal accomplishment but women around the world who have applauded her bravery, said the achievement came with great responsibility.

“As a gender, as people to break the boundaries for the next generation. Let them see that we’ve done everything we can to level the playing field for them before our time is over.”

UP FOR ANOTHER CHALLENGE

She said while she was still coming to terms with her historic achievement she would like to summit Mount Everest again.

“Why not? If an opportunity arises, I would love to,” said Khumalo.

But preparing for and summiting Mount Everest doesn’t come cheap and she knows she’ll need to source funding.

“We can do it, please sponsor us... we’re out here. It hasn’t been easy to try and get a bit of funding,” said Khumalo.

She hopes with the awareness around her summit more companies will climb on board and sponsor young people who would like to follow in her footsteps.