8th December 1999



An African student is to run barefoot across lowland Scotland to raise funds for a new school in Malawi.


Martin Nthakomwa, a postgraduate management student at the University

of Lincolnshire & Humberside, has already raised £24,000 by running barefoot from Lincoln to Sheffield.


And to complete a hat-trick of charity stunts he will also fast for two days in Lincoln over New Year in a bid to collect the £100,000 he needs to pay for the new school single-handed.


Martin plans to wait for warmer weather next summer before he undertakes the

100-mile quadruple marathon from Glasgow via Edinburgh to Perth in July.


His walk will take him symbolically through Blantyre, the home of explorer David Livingstone, who was the first European to visit Malawi.


“I know quite a few people who have said that they are willing to take their holiday in Scotland next year so that they can walk some of the way with me,” said Martin.


He is in Lincoln to learn business skills in order to help educational organisations in Malawi on his return - in particular a new school set up last year by his parents in Karonga for poor children who have no education.


“My next event will be a sponsored fast from 23:59 on 30th December until 23:59 on 1st January,” said Martin. “I’ll be living and sleeping in the Methodist church in Nettleham, Lincolnshire, so that people can visit me and make sure that I’m not eating anything!


“This time of the year is particularly tough back home, as people have usually finished whatever they had in their harvest,” he explained.


“People in Malawi don’t have supermarkets - they are starving and scavenging into the new millennium, and I’m trying to identify with them. It will be a fast with a meaning and a purpose.”


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In July Martin will continue his quest for funds with his barefoot run across Scotland - and he hopes eventually to pull off the same feat in Wales and Ireland too.


The marathon fund-raiser estimates that he will be able to raise between £7,000 and £10,000 from the sponsored fast and between £30,000 and £40,000 for the Scottish barefoot run.


If you would like to pledge a donation to Martin’s cause call him on 01522 809087, send donations to Nettleham Methodist Church Office, High Street, Nettleham, Lincoln LN2 2PL, or telephone the university’s marketing office on 01522 886042.


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For more information contact:


Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk