Michael Mbanjwa's life course changed when he stopped on his way to a soccer game to watch the paddlers on Nagle Dam. Before long, he had been invited by legendary development canoeing coach Robert Lembethe to join his group for training. Within 10 years, he became the first black paddler to win a stage of the Dusi Canoe Marathon and finished in second spot overall. Born in Cato Ridge in 1983, Mbanjwa moved to Gauteng a few years ago to coach canoeing and focus on the sport full time. Known for his phenomenal running speed, the first day of the gruelling Dusi course is one that suits him well. It seems to be just a matter of time before he reaches his ultimate goal of finishing on top of the podium for the three- day race, a position he found himself in earlier this year with Martin Dreyer after they won the Non-Stop Dusi in a K2 boat.

LUNCH SPOT: Anywhere with good food