Kambewa, Moyenda in Tanzania for Kilimanjaro to Sapitwa cycling challenge: In aid of Fomo

Cyclist Stewart Kambewa, who shot to fame together with his colleague, Kramer Kaira when they cycled 1,149km in 8 days from Nsanje to Chitipa in September 2016 to raise funds towards building boreholes in some communities of the country has now left for Tanzania from where he shall cycle back to Malawi, this time with another friend, John Moyenda.

The Kilimanjaro to Sapitwa team before their departure on Thursday
Kambewa (left) and Moyenda
Up Khwekhwerere challenge saddle-less
At the finish line of the 30.4kms saddle-less done in 1 hour 50 minutes

The charity adventure, dubbed Kilimanjaro to Sapitwa, is a combination of hiking up the Kilimanjaro’s peak at 5,895m before cycling from Moshi municipal up to the foot of Mulanje Mountain (2,301km) to finish with a hike to Sapitwa (3002m).

The challenge is in aid of raising a target of K15 million towards the welfare of Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO), an orphanage which looks after over 3,500 children whose ages range between 2-16 years through a network of 14 centres covering over 90 villages in Mulanje.

The two cyclists, who have an assistance crew of two, were expected to sleep over in Karonga on Thursday night where they would continue to Moshi.

The Challenge is expected to start on September 1 and they envisage to cover at least, 180km to 200km a day if they do not encounter any setbacks on their bikes

“But we have four bikes so that should we have a breakdown we should continue on our journey up to the point where we can repair the ones that would break down.

“Otherwise, we are all set and very confident to finish the challenge, which we have set between September 1-30 but, God willing, we can do it in less days.”

“We spent Wednesday night in Mulanje where we spared time with the kids for some time in which we told them of our adventure and asked them to spare a prayer for us.”

He added that those interested can join them hiking up the Sapitwa from Likhubula Forestry offices at a fee towards the same cause.

Kambewa’s connection with FOMO dates back in 2016 when Briton Brendan Rendall came to run the length of Malawi, fundraising for FOMO secondary school.

It was the same year that he was also cycling the length of Malawi with Kwame Kaira and inspired by Kendall’s passion for the kids, he carried out an adventure last April when he cycled 30.4kms saddle-less up the Masasa-Golomoti escarpment route from Salima M5 road junction to the Blantyre-Lilongwe M1 Road.

This challenge was asking the public to donate clothes, shoes, school materials and toys that their kids no longer use and the consignment of the goods that was donated was presented last month.

Kambewa did the 30.4kms saddle-less up through the Masasa-Golomoti escarpment road, popularly known as Khwekhwerere route, in 1 hour 50 minutes.

Other daring challenges he has done include a 10kms uphill from Zomba City Central up to Ku Chawe Inn cycling saddle-less that took him in just under 45 minutes on September 9, 2017.

He did this to raise funds to pay fees for two underprivileged secondary school students from Mulanje and Chiradzulu while in December 2017, he also cycled for fun for four days from Senga Bay in Salima, heading for Lilongwe where he headed along the Blantyre-Lilongwe M1 Road up to the junction for the Khwekhwerere route all the way to Monkey Bay.

From there he headed to his base in Blantyre through Mangochi, Liwonde and Zomba road, covering 663kms.

In between, he has also done a saddle-less cycle up the Chikwawa escarpment from downhill at Thabwa police roadblock all the way to Blantyre, which he dubbed ‘Chikwawa Hills and Meanders Challenge’ covering 20km in 1:6:11hrs.

He also took part in the Nation Publications Mother’s Day Charity Fun Run by volunteering to cycle 311kms from Blantyre to Lilongwe September 8, 2019, in 13:45hrs and the proceeds from the donations he received went towards the Safe Motherhood charity fund set up by the Nation newspaper.

Kambewa said he decided to join hands with FOMO because the institution’s founder Mary Woodworth has been an inspiration and motivation to his life in the past 3-4 years and the impact that FOMO is making to the lives of the children and the community at large.

Why is he doing all this for: “I am very passionate about cycling. Together with my very few friends, we cycle challenging long distances just for the fun of it because there aren’t any cycling competitions.

“We make up for our passion to cycle by organizing our own routes and I decided to add some glamour to cycling by engaging well-wishers to join me as a charity event and I am always satisfied when the public responds to my plea to assist the underprivileged,” he said.

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