Taking the Old Mutual joBerg2c magic north

3 May 2018
A group of Malawian riders are competing in the 2018 Old Mutual joBerg2c nine-day cycle challenge for the very first time to promote mountain biking in their country.

Grecian Gondwah, Frankie Katungwe, Clement Zokota and Daniel Masiku, all employees of the Beehive Centre for Social Enterprise in Malawi, are cycling over 900 km, crossing four provinces and taking in some of South Africa’s most breathtaking scenery.

Although cycling has not yet caught on in a big way in Malawi, especially when compared with road running, the group is hoping to change that “by showcasing this amazing route and the friendly people riding alongside us through pictures of our experiences on social media back home”, says Masiku, a mechanic at the Beebikes shop.

“We don’t have cycling events of this magnitude in Malawi and we would like to garner support to arrange something similar to the Old Mutual joBerg2c, on a smaller scale for now, in Malawi.”

The Beebikes shop and the Beehive Cycling Club are both part of the Beehive Centre for Social Enterprise in Chilomoni. The shop services and repairs used bicycles donated from the United Kingdom and sells them to raise funds for the Mother Theresa Children’s Centre in Malawi, while creating employment for community members like Masiku.

“The opportunity to participate in the 2018 joBerg2c presented itself after the Old Mutual joBerg2c race office offered us free race entries,” he says. “Everything else fell into place after this with Beebikes sponsoring our bicycles, Mobell Communications coming on board with financial support for our travel, and our clothing being sponsored by Old Mutual and Jojo Tanks.”

Daniel Masiku tried a variety of jobs from exhibition stand construction to farming and being a butcher before becoming a mechanic at Beebikes. He particularly loves tackling new projects such as a recent undertaking to build a bike from bamboo. His goal is to one day become a pro team bike mechanic.

The Beehive Cycling Club has an adult cycling group and a popular children’s BMX group which meets weekly for skills training and leisure rides on different courses around Chilomoni.

Thobile Tshabalala, Old Mutual Head of Brand, says, “As a Pan African brand, we are excited by the possibilities of uniting people across the continent through sport, arts and culture. Ultimately we want to provide, through sponsorship, the opportunity for people to be exposed to new things and new places, to invest in themselves, enrich their lives and make it more fulfilling and enjoyable.”