Thale Katlego Letheo is an Awesome South African

Filed in Adventurers by on August 15, 2016 • views: 4053

katlegoEverybody deserves a second chance and Thale Katlego Letheo is definitely one of those people.
(especially when it involves Mt Everest….)

Born in the North West Province of South Africa (in 1981), Thale has a dream to summit the highest peaks on all 7 continents. Since 2012, her resume towards this goal is impressive….

…..but imagine spending 3 years training, raising funds to summit Mt Everest and to be sitting at base camp on that paramount mountain to experience the earthquake that killed 26 climbers and be told that the mountain has been closed down to all climbers. (2015) Shattered dreams………….!


This her story and how WE (South Africans) are going to rally support to give Thale her second chance to be the First Black African Woman to summit Mount Everest.

I don’t fall into a ‘typical climber’ category. I have asthma and I have had a life long struggle with my weight – but I got tired of being told I can’t do well in mountains because I don’t look like an athlete.

I have found climbing to be a sport where one is essentially competing against themselves – and this understanding changed my overall outlook to focusing on doing my best.”

Since 2012, Thale has successfully summited Mt Kilimanjaro (twice), Mt Elbrus, Mt Kenya, Mt Cotopaxi and Mt Antisana. She attempted Mt Denali, Mt Everest and Mt Aconcagua but was not successful.

Whilst talking to her on the phone, I explained the ethos of Awesome South Africans: Namely (1) South Africans performing (2) extra-ordinary acts of awe or endurance (3) for a benefit or cause.

Well, Thale Katlego Letheo certainly qualifies on all three counts. Thale started an NPO: AFRIKA FREEDOM CLIMBERS. Nope, it is not a political party, it is an organisation aimed at closing the gap of woman and children’s participation in mountaineering sports.
afrika-freedom-climbers-logo4We provide women and children, particularly from rural areas in South Africa the opportunity to be trained and participate in high altitude mountaineering sports.

The services they offer include provision of information about how to participate in high altitude mountaineering sport; arranging high altitude mountain expeditions; and fundraising for specific projects that promote women in in adventure sports.

Whilst not climbing or working on her NPO, Thale is an IT Auditor at a global accounting firm based in Johannesburg.

Thale is woman that is breaking the mould on so many fronts that to describe her as awesome alone would not be justice. She is breaking the stereotyping of not only gender but body form and after talking to her, I decided that I would do everything in my power and reach to tell her story.


I want to the see that photo of her standing on top of the world, waving our flag proudly.


Follow Thale on Facebook:

Follow Thale on Twitter:

Thale’s Blog Page:

Afrika Freedon Climbers (NPO):


Give Thale her second chance to be the First Black African Woman to summit Mount Everest.


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