Cally is on a mission to make her voice heard

Cally Silberbauer will cycle from Cape Town to Mount Kilimanjaro in May. Supplied

Cally Silberbauer will cycle from Cape Town to Mount Kilimanjaro in May. Supplied

Published Mar 19, 2022


Cape Town - As she witnessed how violence against women and children affects the country, Cally Silberbauer’s mission is now to take a stand against gender-based violence (GBV), head out as a woman alone and take her power back.

Silberbauer will embark on a cycling journey from Cape Town to Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for GBV in May and once she arrives, she will summit the Africa’s highest peak.

Silberbauer said cycling to and up Mount Kilimanjaro has been her dream for a while now and she believes in following through with it.

“A little voice also told me that this one should be a solo mission and even though it scares me, that’s what I’m doing. So often, women have to suppress their adventurous natures because of the ‘natural’ life trajectory that society enforces: find the right guy, settle down, marry, have kids, the end.

“I’m not saying that this isn’t a beautiful way to live and it is an adventure in its own right, but it’s not my adventure. I’m taking a step out of my comfort zone for all the adventurous ladies who missed the chance or haven’t been as blessed as I have been with opportunities and parents that support my wild ideas.

“I have seen and experienced the hurt and damage that GBV is causing in our country, a beautiful country that I will always call home, and I can no longer sit back and watch. It would be foolish to think that one endurance event like my cycle to Mount Kilimanjaro could solve GBV but I am hoping that it will make a difference,” she said.

Silberbauer plans to show women that they can still embrace and live their dreams.

“Women are told more often than not that they shouldn’t do things for many different reasons. The world is changing and women are getting many more opportunities but I’m not about to sit around and wait for things to change, I want to be part of that force that pushes for change.

“I hope that women will see my journey and realise that this is something they are capable of. All journeys start with one small step, and I want to inspire more steps of power.

“Not necessarily a bike-packing mission or a trek across mountains but perhaps out of an abusive relationship or a personal struggle. I will be riding for Blocktober, a movement that is close to my heart.”

Founder Blocktober, the anti-GBV movement, Jean du Plessis said Silberbauer will show us what can be done to understand, confront and dismantle fear, and take on the scourge of GBV in the world.

“In my view, if humanity cannot solve the problem of GBV, then there is not much hope for us in successfully tackling the many other challenges facing us.

“GBV affects everyone around the globe, and it cuts across race, class, nationality, belief, culture and religion. To end GBV requires all of us, and men in particular, to change how we see and behave towards each other,” he said.

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