Runner Jumat Witbooi started this initiative after his father passed away earlier this year due to Covid-19. Picture: Supplied
Runner Jumat Witbooi started this initiative after his father passed away earlier this year due to Covid-19. Picture: Supplied

Son’s running initiative creates awareness about Covid-19 after dad dies

By Shanice Naidoo Time of article published Oct 13, 2021

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Cape Town - A Bonnievale man is running from one town in the area to others to create awareness about Covid-19 and to assist families affected by the pandemic.

Runner Jumat Witbooi started his initiative after his father passed away earlier this year due to Covid-19.

His father was in an accident and was taken to hospital. Witbooi said it was there that he contracted the virus and sadly they lost him earlier this year.

“I am running for those people who have lost their loved ones. For families that have been left devastated. For families that have lost their breadwinners and jobs. This is for them. Whatever I get during in these runs I will give to families that need help,” said Witbooi.

Social crime prevention officer in Bonnievale Sergeant Sarah Julies, said Witbooi’s project would give people hope.

“We are still alive and we must still be safe by adhering to the Covid-19 regulations. As an officer, I have seen how it has affected people first hand; that is why I did not hesitate to come on board with this. We offer to counsel these people. Some have lost their mothers and fathers. Covid-19 has made people feel negative about a lot of things. This will bring some hope and light with the awareness,” she said.

Julies added that the community had been very supportive when they spotted Witbooi jogging, with some joining him and others getting on their bicycles and offering water.

A member of the community who is also involved in the project, Lizelle Adendorf, said it took about a week a half to put this together with last Saturday being the first run, from Bonnievale to Riviersonderend.

“If anyone wants to help with food parcels or whatever they can so he can give back to the community. This is his way of showing the community that he loves them by giving back as much as he can. He is spreading the word of awareness. Wear masks and sanitise. People are still losing loved ones. I am happy that I was able to help with this,” said Adendorf.

His second run takes him from Robertson to Bonnivale on Saturday; then the next on October 23 from Bonnievale to Swellendam, then from Bonnivale to McGregor and on November 13, Bonnivale to Montagu.

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