Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 148, Jan 2022 Jan 2022 - Page 38


Viva , Akanani , Viva

The Akanani Charity Run team , from left : Mzamo Caiphas , Jenny Emam , Haroon Emam , Mluleki Ngidi , Daniel Smith , June Smith , Dave Rademan , Keshnie Mahomed , Linda Venter , Kat Darvall , Edward Darvall , Chantel Memziwe , Jeffrey Adams and Hazel Moller
The second annual Akanani Charity Run recently traversed rural KwaZulu- Natal in a fundraising team effort to raise funds for two worthy causes , and the inspirational stories of the team members show once again just how powerful running can be as a force for good in this world . – EDITED BY SEAN FALCONER
Jenny and Haroon Emam

In the last week of November , a team of runners from across South Africa met up in Mooiriver , ready to tackle a 275km run over four days all the way down to Durban . This was the second annual Akanani Charity Run , organised by KZN-based physiotherapist , runner and coach Haroon Emam , and the runners were lacing up their shoes and tackling the long road to raise funds for the Bobbi Bear Foundation , which helps sexually abused children lead normal lives , as well as the Nuwe Hoop Centre for the Deaf in Worcester , in the Cape .

On the first day , they did an out-and-back 80km route from Sierra Ranch in Mooiriver and followed that with a 60km out-and-back in Nottingham Road on the Kamberg Road . The third day covered 80km from Bulwer to Richmond , and the final day was 55km from Richmond to Durban . This meant the overall distance was longer than the 200km route from White Mountain Resort to Durban that the Akanani team tackled in 2020 .
Haroon explains that he had been playing with the idea for the run , but it was still in the pipeline in early 2020 . “ While we were hosting the Akanani Biker Rally , I happened to mention to Les Boes that I was planning
to do a 200km charity run from the Berg to Durban , but only in 2022 . She asked me if I could do the run that same year , on the last Sunday of November , so that it would coincide with the Durban Motorcycle Toy Run , which supports the Bobbi Bear Foundation ,” he says .
“ The run proved a huge success , so we decided to tackle another one in 2021 , and in under a month from the end of October , I put a team together with the help of Colleen McNally , and arranged all the logistics . We pulled off the run with great success , with astounding results from the team members , some of whom had never run further than 20km before , adding to their personal records beyond measure .
Making a Difference
Akanani is a Tsonga word that means “ Building One Another .” Haroon chose this name 21 years ago when he founded the Akanani Sports and Recreation Development Group , which includes the physiotherapy practice that he started in Sandton , Gauteng , and subsequently relocated to the Giants Castle area of KZN , near the Drakensberg . Under the same Akanani umbrella , Haroon launched an independent not-for-profit initiative that supports various charities and organisations through
Images : Courtesy Haroon Emam
38 ISSUE 148 JANUARY 2021 | www . modernathlete . co . za