Ep. 144: Saray Khumalo - Decision-Making, Diversity and Mount Everest


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Today, we discuss diversity, purpose, mountains, setbacks, and success. Our guest on this episode is Saray Khumalo, the first Black African woman to have summited Mount Everest and to reach the South Pole. Saray is an award-winning mountaineer, a speaker, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. She is South Africa, born in Zambia and of Rwandan descent.

Last year, after three previous failed attempts, Saray reached the summit of Mount Everest, to much acclaim and fanfare, including from those who likely doubted her. When you listen to her story, you realise that this achievement encompassed many highs, but also lows and setbacks – including . Mountaineering involves making decisions in an environment in which a poor decision can lead to paying the ultimate price. This is real-world risk management.

Beyond this, the reality is that even in 2020, diversity in mountaineering and adventuring simply isn’t there. Many do not think about a stereotypical adventurer and envision a black woman. And that, is in many ways, why Saray does what she does. This is both an inspiring and insightful episode.

Show notes:

Saray’s website

Saray on Twitter

Saray’s successful summit of Mount Everest

Saray’s South Pole expedition

Saray featured by the Nelson Mandela Foundation- “Madiba exemplified”

Saray’s TED talk

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