Thousands Walk the Talk for anti-cruelty
Walkers choose their distances in popular annual event
CLOSE TO 60 000 enthusiastic Joburgers descended on Emmarentia Dam to take part in the annual MTN Walk the Talk with 702 event.
Dogs, adults and children were all part of the fun at the world’s largest walking event that is in its 16th year.
Parents pushed their toddlers in prams and others walked, joined in the fun by Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba, Premier David Makhura, celebrities and MECs.
Sandile Nzama, who is in a wheelchair, completed the 5km route with three colleagues. He said: “I have not pushed myself for a long time and I want to start exercising more.”
Nzama added that it was his first Walk the Talk, but he will come back next year and hopes more disabled people will join him.
Radio 702 and its headline sponsors MTN are excited about the growth of the event, attracting a cosmopolitan crowd each year for its three categories – the five, eight and 15-kilometre walks.
“The event has grown into the largest mass participation walk of its kind and is known to celebrate the diversity and beauty of Joburg,” said Pippa Rowles, 702 PR manager.
“It was a great success, with over 50 000 walkers, and a number of dignitaries joined us. People came from different parts of Gauteng, from different backgrounds, and it all ended with a great celebratory performance by the award-winning Mafikizolo,” she said.
Some of the participants walking with their dogs said this was not their first walk and they participated to make the public aware of the work done by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
Zach Booysens, who was walking with his two dogs, said this was his seventh year of taking part. He walks every year to support the SPCA against animal abuse.
This year also had a special focus on 20 years of democracy and nearly 17 000 walkers chose to walk 15km, to celebrate this milestone in our country’s history.
At each kilometre mark, the City of Joburg placed beautiful images of memorable events from each of the 20 years of the democratic transition.
Elizabeth Pane, who was one of the participants from Katlehong, said that she walked 15km through the city with 14 000 other people.
The 64-year-old Pane added that the participants she met were interesting and inspiring, and that she feels energised after the walk. This is the third year she had taken part.
“I am tired, but I am motivated by what I have experienced here today,” she said.
Many walkers used the event as a platform to raise awareness for causes and came together in vibrant costumes or matching outfits. Others used it for team building with work colleagues and friends.
Bongani Yende and his friends stated that they were doing the walk to raise awareness of the murder of women and children, which has been in the news of late.
“While Bongani is doing the MTN Walk the Talk, I am walking against the killing of women and children,” Yende said.
Organisers of Walk the Talk, 702 and MTN, said they were extremely pleased with the turnout and that the event had gone smoothly.
SUPPORTING THE SPCA: Thousands of people, and many dogs, took part in the annual Walk the Talk event in Joburg yesterday.
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT: Participants could choose between a five, eight or 15-kilometre walk.
WALK OF CELEBRATION: For many, the event was a fun-filled day in the sun.