Musa outside his family home in Swaziland

Musa outside his family home in Swaziland

As you may be aware, eight years ago I was privileged to meet Musa, an intelligent, humble and hardworking family man from the impoverished African nation of Swaziland.

During an assignment to the country, I took off one Saturday morning into the mountains near the capital city Mbabane, and encountered Musa gathering wood for the fire at the homestead he shared with four generations of his family. We struck up a conversation and formed an instant bond. I was fortunate enough to meet Musa’s family and hear how he was almost solely responsible for its financial wellbeing. This heavy burden he bore with grace and strength and it is no exaggeration to say Musa is one of the most impressive human beings I have met.

At the time, he was determined to improve his economic situation by embarking on a college education, one which he would have to fit in with his work as a clerk and his responsibilities caring for his elderly and sick relatives.

I made a commitment that day to Musa to help him, and with the generous assistance of many friends, relatives and strangers, we have raised over £3000 during the last eight years, which has helped not only paying for Musa’s tuition fees in Swaziland, but also assisted in buying materials to maintain the family dwelling huts, and also bringing electricity to Musa’s family (they were the last in the valley to be connected).

Almost all the money raised has been from my annual running of the Hoylake 10k race each September and auctioning of my photography. Unfortunately, due to injury, I have not been able to participate in the last two races, but I am delighted to say I am now running again and will be taking part in the 2016 event, on Sunday, 25th September.

So here’s how you can help me raise the minimum £750 I need to pay for Musa’s latest academic fees for his accountancy courses in 2016-17. Just predict my finishing time. As simple as that. Entries cost £5 each – you can guess as many times as you wish. And here’s your reward: the guess closest to my finishing time will win a signed and mounted digital print of any one of my photographs. That’s right – you can select any image from my entire collection and it will be printed 20″ x 16″ (or equivalent) and shipped off to you.

Please support me if you can. I know times are tight, but education offers Musa a route to an easier existence. He is so grateful for everything we have done for him and I am asking on his behalf to give a little to gain a lot.

To enter, simply go to my Paypal account: amazon@colinmcpherson.co.uk and enter your guesses along with your details. If you wish to pay by cheque, please email me: colinmcpherson@mac.com.

I am predicting a time of around 50 minutes, so please make your guesses in minutes and seconds (i.e. 49:52).

Thank you so much!

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