Meet Jozi's Walkers and Talkers celebrating their city - on foot!

Those who have participated in the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 will appreciate the impressive range of participants who come from far and wide to be part of the annual event. Something that has consistently established itself as so much more than just a walk.

So what drives the scores of walkers to participate? And those that come back year after year, what do they get from it? In this ongoing series, we meet just a few of them along some of the leafy streets of Joburg...

The Bestie Walkers

Skye, 16, Parkhurst

I’ve been taking part in the Walk the Talk for about 14 years with my friends and family.The one thing I’ll always remember doing is that as soon as my friend and I have crossed the finish line, and get our medals, they’ll challenge me. They challenge me to see how many people I can photobomb at the finish field as the other finishers take their finish pictures.

Shannon, 16, Parkhurst

We’ve been doing the Walk the Talk for 14 years with my twin sister, my friend, her mum and my mum. It’s tons of fun and therefore we walk every year, and I’m glad I get to do it with people I care about. We get to create memories together and have a jol. It’s a proper vibe.

Ruby, 16, Parkhurst

The Walk the Talk is one of my favourite events of the year, and I get to do it with my friends. We’ve been taking part for many years. And over the years we have developed some traditions that we love to do on Walk the Talk Sunday. Every year along the route, we buy ice-cream and my flavour of choice is Eskimo Pie. We have so much fun along the route with so many activations as well.We get to discover different parts of Joburg and you get to see the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge and Constitution Hill, are just some of the things you see along the route.

The Fundraising Walker - Ricci, Abraham Kriel Bambanani

My name is Ricci and I’m a fundraiser from Abraham Kriel Bambanani. The organisation has been going for over 100 years. We look after abused and abandoned children. Children that have been traumatised sexually, molested and abused. We take care of them and how we do that is we have residential care and community care. In residential care, we have over twenty-two houses where the children are looked after and in community care, there are drop-in centres and home-based visits where the young children receive social care. They also receive a hot meal for the day, and it’s often the only meal they receive on that day. We look after children that have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Often we get child-headed household young children coming to us for their basic needs, to assist them with homework. We have a skill centre as well. This means when you leave high school, and can’t go into tertiary education, the skill centre is there to provide basic skills in painting, tiling and basic computer training.

If you need a cause to walk for this year, you can join the Abraham Kriel Bambanani. Our charity has entered a team. And we can’t wait to take to the streets of Joburg on Sunday 28 July. It’s going to be an absolutely wonderful day. We are counting on your support.

The Never-missing Out Walker - Lorna, 35, Bryanston

I’ve been taking part in Walk the Talk for the past five years. It’s the one event that I choose not to miss out on my exercise calendar. Training for it is very enjoyable, and I like taking part in the longer distances, which is why this year I’ll be walking the 25km Walk. I’ll be putting in some extra training as I’ve never walked a full 25km before in one go.I’ll be walking with my husband, and I’ll probably beat him at it… Shoo don’t tell him.

Walking over the Nelson Mandela Bridge is one of my highlights and this year we also get to walk through the Johannesburg Zoo. Enter the Walk the Talk and get fit training for it!

The Repeat Walker - Samantha, 44, Klipriver

I have completed ten consecutive Walk the Talks. I love the outdoors. I can’t wait to walk the 25km walk for 25 years of democracy. It's a fantastic morning out walking through the beautiful streets of Joburg. Making new friends. Some of the sites I'm looking forward to this year are the Nelson Mandela Bridge, the Johannesburg Zoo, Constitution Hill, and Wits University. Put your walking shoes on and I will meet you at the start of this year’s MTN Walk the Talk with 702.

I used to do the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 on my own, but now I have my husband and best friend joining me.

The Team Walker - Lesego, 27, Kagiso

This will be my second entry and I’ll be doing the 15km with my colleagues. It’s a great experience getting to see the community. I can’t wait to participate in the Walk the Talk with my work colleagues. We are looking forward to the vibe on the route and the team spirit. Our team is looking to walking over the Nelson Mandela Bridge and seeing other landmarks along the route.

It’s a great way to see beautiful Joburg from a different angle. Don’t miss out. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people! Enter your team today!

The Family Walker - Hlohlo, 33, Fourways

I’m Hlohlo and I’m from Fourways. We started taking part in the Walk the Talk as a family. We invited my grandparents to walk, as well as my cousin’s and uncles. It’s become an annual thing. My grandfather turns 84 this year, he is very fit and always walks ahead of all us. My grandmother is a little bit frail now, but she still doe the walk. Interesting enough last year, we got a wheelchair for her because we thought it would be difficult for her. She walked some of the distance and she also rode in the wheelchair for some of the distance. It’s interesting dynamics when you are walking in a big group, but the awesome thing is that you are doing it together and it brings you together as a family. We’ve turned Walk the Talk into one of our family building activities, and after the walk, we go for a Sunday lunch together.

We can’t wait for the MTN Walk the Talk with 702! We hope you can join us with your family because we will be there with our family and let’s do it for health. Let’s do it for fun. Let’s do it for the different causes. Let’s do it because we just love this country.

The Young Walker - Brighton

I love to walk with my family. But sometimes my legs get sore. My favourite thing to do when we go walking is to sit on my dad’s shoulders.

The Purposeful Walker - Jackie

I’m from the Ann Harding Chesire Home. We are a residential care facility for adults who have a physical disability. The majority of our residents are reliant on wheelchairs. The majority of our residents weren’t born with a disability but are disabled as a result of trauma. The Ann Harding Chesire Home is going to be taking part in the 18th Walk the Talk for the tenth year running now. We take part in the 5km walk and what’s so special about this event is that we can bring about 40 people who are in wheelchairs. They absolutely love the event, which is amazing because they don’t often get to participate in events like Walk the Talk.

We bring along all our residents and we are also joined by our sister homes in Soweto and Daveyton. We all have the most amazing day. We get some help from the Off Road Rescue Unit (ORRU) to get us into the venue. We have our own special start. Everyone is just so accommodating and it’s a must on our event calendar.

We’ve already started getting our residents pumped up for this year’s event. We are in the process of getting their names and entering them into our team.

The Fitness Fanatic - Thembi, 37, from Parkwood

I’m looking forward to taking part in the 25km in celebration of our 25 years of democracy as we reflect in terms of how far we’ve come as a country and our current state as well as moving forward together. For me the Walk the Talk allows us a day to actually spend time in the city that we love, with family and friends. I mean at the end of the day, you get to see some of the remarkable city sites.

I remember the first time I walked through Wits University, which is where I studied for my undergrad degree and having those feelings of achievement having walked those corridors. And getting to places like the Constitution Hill and understanding what it means, and what it stands for our democracy in our country. We can take the moment to appreciate how far we’ve come but also take a moment to look forward to a future that will allow us to prosper.

The 25km walk will invoke the same type of appreciation and feelings that I got when I walked the 20km walk a few years back. I’m hoping for a great turnout and that we’ll be able to go towards the finish line and achieve our goals both from a health point of view, but also in celebration of the 25 years of democracy.

The Social Walker - Sivuyile, 38, from Bryanston

Our country is moving forward at a rapid pace and I feel that with the inclusion of the 25km to commemorate 25 years of democracy is a great idea. The 25km will be extremely fun.

In 2014, the country celebrated 20 years of democracy and Walk the Talk. I took part in that special distance too. We got to walk through Constitution Hill, and I hear that we will walk through it again this year for the 25km route. The route will also go down Oxford Road and into Forest Town. That’s a lovely suburb with wide roads, that are lined with plenty of trees. The Johannesburg Zoo will also be interesting to walk through on that crisp Sunday morning.

I’m pretty excited about all the walking and being a social walker, I quite enjoy a brisk walk around the block in the area I live in, after a day at the office. If I have a little extra time, I do pop into the gym as well. My final words are that if you can walk 25km, come through! I’m pretty sure you will enjoy it.

If our walkers and talkers resonate with you, make this the year to recommit to MTN Walk the Talk with 702. Be part of something so much more than just a walk by entering to be part of the fun on 28th July 2019!

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