Man versus mountain. Here’s where 365 days of ubuntu leads


Andrew Patterson wasn’t sure where the road would take him. He’d just been retrenched. Clutching the steering wheel in traffic, Patterson faced the mountain that loomed ahead. In that moment, he had an epiphany. The avid hiker realised he could use his unexpected spare time for a purpose. “I wanted to make sure I was making decisions based out of love and not fear,” Patterson says.

He resolved to climb Table Mountain every single day for a year to raise funds for three charities close to his heart. From the first day of January to the last of December 2018, Patterson ascended the mountain, regardless of the risks. Cape Town’s climate is notoriously temperamental. Braving scorching heat, icy rain, and blistering winds, Patterson pushed forward. In total, his journey covered 2 429 kilometres.

“I started 365 Ubuntu Climbs as a mission to show how easy it is to give,” Patterson says. “All I asked for in return was for as many people to donate R1 per climb.” The scale of Patterson’s project is unparalleled. Through crowdfunding, he raised over R500 000 for leukemia, literacy, and public housing. Patterson’s achievement echoes the value of every single step. “What might feel like the worst thing today could turn out to be the best thing 50 years down the line,” Patterson says. Scaling a mountain is difficult. The challenges of life are even tougher. By rising up in spite of them, we can help ourselves and others.