Mom’s 6,772km journey

Resilience, determination and energy come in the form of extreme athlete Kim van Kets, who completed a trek around the South African border.

This inspirational speaker, attorney, published author and mother went on a 6,772km expedition which saw her running, mountain biking and kayaking.

Van Kets’s first lesson for others is: “Know what makes you come alive, what makes your heart beat hardest, and don’t ever give it up for anything.

“We sacrifice a lot as women, our mothers sacrificed too but it is important for us not sacrifice our purpose in life,” said Van Kets said.

NO RIVER TOO WIDE: Kim van Kets crossing a river during her trek around the South African border

She said passion would lead one you to one’s purpose in life, and helped one find a balance with everyday activities.

Other key points she emphasised were is developing good habits in order to deal with negativity when it came along.

“Don’t wait until things go wrong to do something. Negativity can be immobilising and this can prevent you from doing what you were meant to do,” she said.

Van Kets’s journey of self-discovery was inspired by her daughter, Hannah.

When Hannah was asked at age four what her parents did, she said, “Dad’s an adventurer and mom’s a servant.”

“That’s when I got a wake-up call and started to plan for this journey and leave a legacy for my daughter,” said Van Kets said.

She kept a journal during her trek, which she later developed into a book, Tri the Beloved Country, as a memoir for her daughter.

When it comes to issues of gender-based violence and abuse, Van Kets says we are she mentions that we’re passive as a society.

In a blog post after reading the book Khwezi by Redi Tlhabi, she felt ashamed of herself, leaving her with a lot of questions.

“Where was my outrage when Fezekile was on trial? Why did I make no effort to lead an army of angry and formidable warrior women to the high court to demonstrate my support?” she asked.

Though there is so much going on in the country, Van Kets remains fairly positive and disciplined.

“I’m driven by what I can do within my community with my energy and the resources at my disposal,” she said.

Readers can visit her website for more of her writing on her journeys at


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