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Friday, 25 March 2011

CPUT’s Grobler attempts to make history and raise funds on Silent Steps mission

Renowned for its ship-wrecks, brown hyenas, jackals, side-winders and seals, the Skeleton Coast is infamous for its harsh, unfriendly terrain and extreme climate. It’s an area rarely frequented by even the most experienced vehicle-bound adventurers, but CPUT’s Anette Grobler from the Department of Student Affairs begins her month-long solo quest to walk the coastline this weekend - all in aid of a good cause.

In 2005, Grobler made history by being the first person to walk the entire length of the inhospitable Northern Namib Desert coastline in Angola in a 330km solo journey called “Walk for Wheels”. This feat was undertaken to raise money for landmine victims in war-torn Angola. Anette is now taking on an even greater challenge by attempting to walk the entire length of the Skeleton Coast National Park in Namibia, a solo journey of 500km, without any help.

This expedition will be undertaken in order to raise funds and awareness for the National Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing College in Worcester (the NID College). The expedition is called “Silent Steps” in recognition of the challenges faced by the deaf and hard of hearing in their daily lives. The NID College is the only Occupational Skills Program Training College for deaf and hard of hearing children on the entire African continent. The money raised from the Silent Steps expedition will be used to develop sport facilities for all 102 students at the NID College and help obtain other much-needed items.

The route starts at Ugab, the most southerly gate of the Skeleton Coast National Park in Namibia. Anette will have to push through some of the most inhospitable and desolate terrain known to humankind - “The Land God made in Anger”, as the San people call it. Anette aims to complete her mission in approximately 30 days, averaging around 18-20km per day, during the period between 26 March and 25 April this year.

Anette will have all she needs to survive including a rickshaw developed by CPUT’s very own Engineering department, satellite phone, medical supplies and a water desalination device to turn sea water into drinkable water.


Anette is hoping to serve as an inspiration to all that there is no reason to sit back and do nothing. If you would like to support the cause and Anette in her incredible expedition then please sms the letters “NID” to 31243. Each sms costs R10 and all proceeds go to the NID. The person who sends the most sms’s will stand a chance to win a Dell Notebook to the value of R8000.  “Imagine if 23 000 students and staff send an sms, for R230 000 we can build the NID College a skills centre!” says Anette. You can follow Anette via her Silent Steps Facebook Group. We at CPUT wish her luck on her adventure for the greater good.

by:  Danielle Rall

Edited by Jan Weintrob

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za