South African woman triumphs Everest, and more

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46 year old Deshun Deysel has undertaken over 14 major expeditions across 5 continents. Throughout her career as an explorer, she simultaneously forged a career in motivational speaking. Her journey is a symbol of strength for South African women of colour and she explains why, herself.

In her days as only a novice she was part of the South African team which planted the country’s democratic flag on top of Mount Everest in 1996. Her title as  the first woman of colour from South Africa to climb Mount Everest inspired her to continue ahead and develop her skill and fortitude in mountaineering and other expeditions.

‘She said her own story was evidence that a township kid with a dream and a willingness to work hard could rise above tough circumstances and become a positive role model for others. In the days of apartheid, Deysel was refused entry to the SA Mountain Club, but she did not let this hold her back in making her mountaineering dreams become a reality.’

Other successful missions include reaching the summit of Mt. Meru in Tanzania, Mt. Elbrus in Russia and Mt. Blanc in France. Deysel is now an ambassador for the Laureus Foundation, a powerful global organisation which advocates for the use of sport as a tool for social change. Her genuine outlook on sport’s ability to develop communities is inspired by the late Nelson Mandela’s famous words:


“Sport has the power to change the world and the power to unify people in a way that little else does’.

Deysel will be addressing an audience as Keynote Speaker during the Western Cape’s Provincial Conference on Sport in George on the 10th and 11th of March. The conference aims to explore what sport can contribute to society in the present day, emphasising youth development and community engagement.