On Air Feature
South Pole Expedition
Sibusiso Vilane is the first black African to summit the mighty Mount Everest. His mountaineering and adventure career began when his climbing prowess was noticed by John Doble, the then British High Commissioner to Swaziland. He introduced Sibusiso to mountain climbing which ultimately led to him being a mountaineer of distinction for the past decade. He successfully summited Mount Everest in 2003 from the South side, and again in 2005 from the treacherous North side - succeeding on first attempts on both climbs. Sibusiso then embarked on The Seven Summits quest between 2005 and 2008. He successfully conquered all seven highest peaks of the seven continents of the World! He holds the distinction of being the 1st black person to achieve this historic feat!
In January 2008, Sibusiso and Alex Harris became the first South Africans (and he the first black person) to walk to the South Pole, across the snow and ice, unassisted and unsupported – another remarkable achievement which won the duo the inaugural Solomon’s Adventurer of the Year, 2008. Since his first ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1999, Sibusiso has reached the Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro multiple times, many of which have been guiding trips. He leads the annual Trek4Mandela and Caring4Girls charity climbs which takes place every Month of July which is Mandela month and they summit on the 18th of July which is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. He has lead a number of climbing expeditions to Aconcagua in South America. This is the highest moun-tain in the southern hemisphere, the highest in South America and one of the seven summits. In one of the trips he led the youngest South African who was aged fifteen to summit Aconcagua.
His other accolade is completing the Grand Slam of Adventure, which makes him the 1st black African to conquer the three poles challenge - the South Pole, North Pole and Mount Everest.
In 2006, former President Thabo Mbeki bestowed on Sibusiso Vilane, the Order of Ikhamanga in Bronze for outstanding achievement and contributing to Mountaineering. This entitles Sibusiso to write his name as Sibusiso Vilane (OIB).
The story of Sibusiso is truly inspiring, from humble beginnings of starting school at age 10, to being a game ranger to standing tall on the rooftop of the World. He is Proudly South African and of Swazi heritage. The global icon and 1st President of democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela hailed Sibusiso “a real hero”, while the then President Thabo Mbeki said “Sibusiso’s example of sheer grit and optimism, is exemplary as we, Africans face the Everest-like challenges ahead of us”. His achievements, can be summed up as monumental.
Sibusiso authored his first book, titled ‘To the Top from Nowhere’; published by Aardvark Press of Cape Town. He gives inspirational talks which are backed up by power point slides with various themes including:
My Journey to the top of the world (his journey to the summit of Mount Everest in 2003)
Beyond Everest (his life experiences after Mount Everest, North and South Pole and The Seven Summits)
These are his signature stories where he reminds us that we all have our own Everest! His aspiration is to be an Adventurer, Mentor and Leader. Sibusiso has also been acknowledged and recognized in the Lille Green Book by the Ministry of Sports and Recreation.