Ms RAWAN Dakik, Mt Everest’s conqueror from Tanzania and the only female from Africa, returned to the country, on Friday to a heroic welcome by a multitude of Tanzanians at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
The 20-year-old mountaineer, arrived at the airport at 06.47am aboard Qatar Airways, Dreamliner flight number A7- BCL and was quickly ushered for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) on Coronavirus after her heroic feat on world’s highest peak, mid last month.
Draped in National Colours, the mountain enthusiast would later be met with her parents, the Deputy Minister for Tourism Ms Mary Massanja, conservation officers from Tanzania National Park (TANAPA), Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), relatives and friends who braved the morning chills to receive the country’s heroine.
Even the elated former Chief of Defence Forces, General Mrisho Sarakikya, who set the record of being the first Tanzanian who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro , was present to receive Ms Rawan after she successfully climbed the 8,850 metre mountain, whose summit runs between the China-Nepal border.
Ms Rawan, who started climbing as a hobby, at a tender age of 13, recounted to a battery of reporters the blood and sweat experience she endured as she summited the Earth’s highest mountain.
“I’m so happy to be back; home after once-in-a-lifetime experience on top of the world,” explained the elated Rawan who has set her sight on climbing Mt Denali, North America’s highest mountain peak next year.
Ms Rawan has already scaled six mountains before conquering the Everest. “I feel so proud and honoured to be the only Tanzanian to hoist our flag on top of the world,” she noted.
She noted further that her ascent on March 22 and descendency on May 28, described her mission as a ‘crazy experience’, deeming it a long trip, both mentally and physically. The Climber recounted the journey as a rather challenging one, punctuated by some hurdles that would have made the fainthearted retract.
“The ice, rocky landscapes and lack of oxygen was really challenging…it was matter of life and death, but I kept one pushing on, it is such courage that kept me grounded throughout,” she explained.
According to her father, Mr Abdulkarim Dakik,Ms Rawan drew the courage from her mother Hala Dakik. Speaking shortly, after receiving the country’s heroine, the Deputy Minister for Tourism and Natural ResourcesMs Mary Massanja bestowed on her the title of a volunteering tourism ambassador for her feat.
“We are happy to see her back safe and sound, most importantly for making all of us proud,” the Deputy Minister said.