Extreme swimmer Ryan Stramrood became the second person to swim 100 crossings between Robben Island and the mainland after yesterday’s swim that took him two hours 18 minutes. Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Congolese national Arafat Gatabazi will receive a donation from the sale of the first 100 pairs of extreme swimmer Ryan Stramrood’s flip-flops.

On Thursday Stamrood made his 100th crossing between Robben Island and the mainland.

Gatabazi teaches Cape Town children from an orphanage to swim as part of an effort to encourage them to stay off the streets. He is a refugee from the Congo who hitch-hiked to South Africa when he was 17 years old after fleeing his home during a raid.

He was included in a swimming programme while staying at the Homestead for Street Children and is now focused on sharing the therapeutic benefits he received from learning to swim.

Gatabazi said: “When you live in a children’s home, it is always difficult to be positive, but when you have someone who believes in you, it changes the way you see yourself. This is what swimming did for me, and now I am trying to share it with other kids in similar situations, hoping to make a difference in their lives.”

Stramrood followed in the footsteps of his late friend and swimming companion Theodore Yach, who made the swim 108 times.

“Totally elated to be on the beach, no Robben Island swim is ever easy. Today was my 100th, and I’ve made it. It was tough out there, it was cold and it got choppy, so I am very, very happy. I trained with him (Yach) often and swam a number of Robben Island crossings with him, including his 100th. Theo swam my 50th crossing with me in 2015 and would have joined me on my 100th today.”

Fellow extreme swimmer and environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh accompanied Stramrood in a support boat. 

The flip-flops can be purchased at: HERE.

Extreme swimmer, Ryan Stramrood, made his 100th crossing between Robben Island and the mainland. Video: Armand Hough/African News Agency