How Kabelo Mabalane Is Running To Inspire All South Africans
“Working in the music industry, I was always in the spotlight and lived under lots of scrutiny. I fell into that ‘sex, drugs and roll ‘n roll’ lifestyle,” Kabelo Mabalane tells us.
And although that lifestyle is now only a distant memory to the 42-year-old, he’s grateful he listened at the right time.”It could have been worse, I could have ended up dead in a ditch in Hillbrow with a needle stuck in my arm, but I listened in time. People must have spoken to me about my behaviour a million times before that, but for some reason, that one time it sunk in,” he adds.
And in return, he’s reaching out, too, penning a memoir with writer Nechama Brodie last year. In the book titled I Ran For My Life: My Story, Kabelo delves into his multi-platinum selling music career and his tough battle with drug and alcohol abuse.
Running was a key aspect in Kabelo turning his life around, and now he’s using it to inspire others. With the kwaito star’s book also including training programmes and advice for aspiring ultramarathon runners.
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Now a Diamond Vitality member and myrun brand ambassador, the father of two is relishing his role and inspiring others to overcome their personal demons and become more active. “I need to be cool and make running cool!,” he says jokingly. “That’s what I’m hoping to achieve in the coming year.”
Myrun is a community focused fitness company, who has partnered with Kabelo, to get people running. The company creates 2.5km and 5km routes throughout the country to get people active on weekends. “We’re working on launching many more venues this year. The best part is that myrun events are free of charge and you can earn Vitality points for them!”
Kabelo is big on health, and it plays a key role in what he teaches his kids. “[It’s all about consistency and encouraging through your deeds, not your words,” he says. “Kids see that and learn for themselves what you prioritise and why. My little daughter sees me going out for runs, she hangs around watching me as I work out. In passing I can tell her why being healthy is important, but mostly it’s by watching our examples that kids learn.”
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But for him, running is more than just keeping fit, it’s a form of meditation. “I like the alone time – just getting time to think and reflect as I run,” he says. he also stresses the importance of prioritising your workouts. “If something is important, you’ll make time for it. If someone tells me they don’t have time to exercise, I say, give me your diary – I’ll find space for it.”
His take home advice? “Apply the same principles you would in other aspects of your life, like your job, to healthy living.
“No one waltzes into a profession, so why would you expect to get fit overnight? Anything worth having comes at a price. Be patient with yourself. Start slow, start easy, just start. Set your own pace.”
Find our more on how to join Kabelo on his weekend runs here.