A man walks from the Congo to Cape Town. Then takes to the open sea
After leaving the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and travelling through five countries on foot, Arafat Gatabazi arrived in Cape Town. But he didn’t stop there. He had a dream: to swim from Robben Island to shore.
Without a home, he found refuge at The Homestead, a shelter located in the CBD. Coming from a landlocked country, Gatabazi challenged himself to learn how to swim. He spent his free time training in the Long Street pool. Eleven months later, he felt ready to complete the swim. His first attempt was unsuccessful. With one kilometre left, he succumbed to hypothermia and was forced to abandon. Undeterred, he went back to the pool and continued training. After a month, he returned to the shores of Robben Island and attempted to conquer the Atlantic Ocean once more.
This time, he reached his goal, receiving the Swimmer of the Year award from the Cape Town Long Distance Swimming Association. Gatabazi is justifiably proud of his accomplishment. The swim is one more achievement in a life full of challenges overcome.