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No mountain too high for grieving radio personality


By: Ketemba Tjipepa

A local radio personality, Laimi Elago, has stated that exercising has helped her mental health and grieving process after losing her seven-year-old daughter in a car accident two years ago.

After finding herself in the throes of life, Elago made a decision to continue living, be a mother to her son, and find meaning in life. Like anyone else grieving the loss of a child, she found herself in a dark place.  

However, Elago decided to focus on activities that would help her grow. 

Elago’s lost her daughter in August 2021 in an accident while driving to Swakopmund. 

“She was full of life and that made me seek out, because of the life she lived,” Elago said of her daughter.

Elago refused to succumb to alcoholism and stayed on antidepressant. Hence, she decided to give exercise a try. She did strength and cardio training at CrossFit Damascus.

In the process, she picked up Sarah Khumalo’s book titled ‘My Journey to the Top of the World’ and began reading about finding meaning and purpose in life. 

This prompted Elago to reach out to Khumalo, who is an executive coach and the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest. They embarked on a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro last month with 17 other women.

While preparing to take on Mount Kilimanjaro, Elago shared that several people doubted her because she didn’t look like a mountaineer. They asked Elago if she had hiked Namibia’s highest mountain Brandberg or the Fish River canyon before taking on the highest mountain in Africa.

“I was in a very dark place and that’s what led me to CrossFit Damascus in December 2021. To be honest, I didn’t want to share this, but I was drowning myself in alcohol at that time. It was a great numbing agent. Alcohol was my friend.  I was trying to forget. I was like this is not how I want to live my life and I still have a son to be a mother to and pulled myself out, and I started looking for a community, CrossFit Damascus is a community, and (by) going to church, I found a community, then I ran towards things that were helping me instead of hurting me,” stated Elago.

When asked to paint a picture of her journey to the top of Kilimanjaro, which took six days, Elago had this to say:

“Summit night by far was the hardest and the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. They will wake you up at midnight, and then you have to track up, you are gaining an altitude of 1056 metres above sea level. It’s slowly up, in the middle of the night you got nothing but a headlight and already your mind is playing the worst game on you,” stated Elago who summited.

Elago together with Khumalo’s non-profit organisation is working to raise funds to put up a digital library at Kaupumhote Nghituwamhata combined school at Oheti village in the Ohangwena region. The library will aid learners with numeracy and literacy. 

Elago added that she is excited about the idea that she will be able to provide internet access to over 1000 learners.

No mountain too high for grieving radio personality