South African racing driver, Gugu Zulu, died early Monday while attempting to climb Mount Kilimajaro, the continent’s tallest peak.
Zulu, who was taking part in the Trek4Mandela charity challenge (which aimed to raise money for girls in Africa) with his wife and around 40 others, reportedly “experienced problems breathing” while on the mountain.
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More details: SA race driver Gugu Zulu dies on Kilimanjaro trip
News of his death broke on major South African news channels around 10am SAST. Twitter has since been inundated with words of comfort for Zulu’s family and messages of disbelief.
His last tweet is also rather chilling.
Acclimatization day3 – just taking a stroll in the garden high above a blanket of clouds -… https://t.co/2lKARh4dZP
— Gugu Zulu (@GuguZulu) July 17, 2016
The theme of surprise and shock was clear in many Twitter users’ responses surrounding Gugu Zulu’s death.
Beyond this, users on the social network also took time to pay their respects and send condolences to the Zulu family. Many lauded Gugu Zulu as a source of inspiration, a nation builder and a role model for South Africans in motorsport and beyond.
If there ever was a person who epitomized positivity, optimism, and high energy. It would be Gugu Zulu. Deeply saddened by his passing
— Lebo Pule (@MsPule) July 18, 2016
Devastating news to hear of the passing of this incredible man. Lost for words. Condolences to his family. RIP Gugu
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) July 18, 2016
as a young F1 fan and before Lewis Hamilton, Gugu Zulu was the only person of colour I knew of in auto racing.
— Bbz Weslomo (@artofkawaii) July 18, 2016
#GuguZulu Devastating news! The guy was full of life and a role model!
— Vusi Ntlakana (@MysticNative) July 18, 2016
Great inspiration to the country.
— Totalsports SA (@TotalsportsSA) July 18, 2016
Gugu Zulu made it possible for people to see that their dreams could come true. What a loss. Thank you for changing so much in South Africa
— Rhea Morar (@RheaMorar) July 18, 2016
Gugu Zulu was so exemplary. He stretch the horizons of what we imagined was possible. In life. In love. And he did it so graciously. RIP
— Cde ShakaSisulu (@ShakaSisulu) July 18, 2016
RIP #GuguZulu. Tragic to hear of your passing. A man that did wonders for the sports of motor racing & cycling. A gentleman and inspiration.
— Bike Mob SA (@BikeMob_SA) July 18, 2016
@GuguZulu RIP my friend. I am in total shock. Such a down to earth, warm, loving person taken from us way too soon! Life is not fair…
— Rikki Brest (@RikkiBrest) July 18, 2016
So devastated to hear of the untimely death of @GuguZulu Such an amazing man and am so sad for his beautiful young family. Rest in peace
— Jeannie D (@Jeannieous) July 18, 2016
RIP @GuguZulu really really devastating news. We are poorer as a nation now you are gone.
— IanF (@IanFSA) July 18, 2016
RIP Gugu Zulu thank you for doing the most & inspiring all the kids in the hood who thought track racing wasnt for them #Legend
— IG: luth_and_o (@Luth_and_o) July 18, 2016
Shocked to hear about the passing of Gugu Zulu. Met him a few times, such a kind humble soul. May he rest in peace.
— John Beale (@jtbeale) July 18, 2016
RIP @GuguZulu . Deserves recognition for his influence in much more than sport
— Matthew Hill (@FarsleyMatt) July 18, 2016
Gugu Zulu was one of the nicest men you’d ever meet. Truly. What an incredible soul. Condolences to Letshego and his family
— Adriaan Roets (@RoetsAA) July 18, 2016
— Stace (@StaceyRehbock) July 18, 2016
Gugu Zulu is survived by his wife Letshego, and their daughter Lelethu.
The circumstances of his death are unknown at present.
Feature image: screenshot from “GoPro: The fastest Brother in Africa” via GoPro YouTube