Last night, The University of Cape Town (UCT) recognised legendary African explorer, adventurer and humanitarian, Kingsley Holgate, as a honorary member of the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society.
Held at The Mill, Church-On-Main in Wynberg, the Golden Key is the world’s largest collegiate honour society. Membership is by invitation only and applies to the top 15 percent of college and university students in their respective faculties.
With more than 2 million members worldwide, including honoraries like Desmond Tutu and Bill Clinton, the Golden Key carries an esteemed legacy of achievement. As portrayed on the Society’s seal, Golden Key membership begins with the recognition of academic excellence, but the true benefit of membership is realising one’s potential through leadership and service in the community.
Kingsley was recognised for his service to the community of Africa. During his Land Rover-driven ‘Beating Heart of Africa’ expedition in 2015, Kingsley and his crew made history when they reached the geographical centre point of Africa – the only continent that did not previously have a pre-determined geographical middle point
The exact co-ordinates -“17.05291°E, 2.07035°N” – were scientifically determined by the Department of Environmental and Geographic Science at the University of Cape Town and verified by the International Geographic Union.
Kingsley was also recognised for his unfaltering humanitarian work in Africa. Under Land Rover’s Hope Crosses Any Terrain (#HCAT) corporate social responsibility banner, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation have distributed 17 000 mosquito nets throughout Africa, saving 50 000 lives in the process. In Africa, a baby dies of malaria every minute of every day.
The Kingsley Holgate Foundation – through its Mashozi Rite to Sight campaign – have distributed nearly 8 000 reading glasses to poor-sighted Africans and thus improving their quality of their lives. Kingsley has also distributed more than 5 000 Lifestraw filters that provides up to 1 000 litres of clean drinking water per person.
Cape Epic cyclist and fellow Holgate expeditioneer, Mike Nixon was handed the ‘Talking Stick’ and explained the concept behind the ‘Beating Heart of Africa’ expedition and the gruelling challenges they had to overcome to reach the geographical centre point.
Kingsley delivered the key note address and had the packed house (which included hundreds of UCT students) hanging from his lips as he spoke about his many adventures; following in the footsteps of legendary explorers like Livingstone and his famous ‘seven pebbles of life’ story. Kingsley was awarded along with Yusuf Kader (Peninsula School Feeding Association) and Elmarie Yvonne ‘Muffy’ Miller (founder of the Langbos Creche and Care Centre).