On June 22 Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) hosted its annual Iyonayona Fun Run at Mfekayi, uMkhanyakude. The event brought together participants of all ages to celebrate Youth Month through a spirited 5km and 8km race, encouraging healthy competition and promoting wellness.

This year’s race started at Mchakwini and finished at the vibrant Zamimpilo market in Mfekayi. The event was particularly remarkable due to its diverse participants, ranging from the youngest at eight years old to the eldest at 91 years old.

Phila Mthiyane, the ward 21 counsellor, was among the notable attendees. He expressed his gratitude for the event, emphasising its role in uniting generations and promoting physical fitness. He highlighted the importance of a healthy body for a healthy mind with the Zulu proverb, “umqondo ophilile usemzimbeni ophilile,” meaning that a healthy mindset resides in a healthy body.

Talente Mtungwa from the Mfekayi Library delivered an inspiring talk on the importance of acquiring new skills through education. Additionally, Julius Mkhasibe from SAPS Vispol praised the Iyonayona initiative as a valuable outlet for the youth, encouraging them to engage in positive activities.

The event concluded with an awards ceremony, where several stakeholders offered words of wisdom to the young participants, urging them to take initiative and control over their lives.

AHRI chief advancement officer, Munya Rabambi, thanked the Mfekayi community for coming out in their numbers for the race: “The annual Iyonayona fun run race is one of the initiatives set to strengthen our multi-stakeholder collaboration with the community, as one of AHRI’s values, ‘collaboration’, is essential to the success of our research and a key ingredient towards our vision of ‘optimal health and well-being of under-resourced populations’. The race aims to help raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of an active lifestyle on our health and well-being, as well as the importance and relevance of the research AHRI does. I would like to thank AHRI staff, our stakeholders, partners and all participants for making the 2024 Iyonayona fun run race at  Mfekayi a success.”

Race results:

8km results


Zwelake Mdletshe

Minenhle Myeni

Nkululeko Ntombela


Sinothile Mthiyane

Sibongakonke Myeni

Phindile Mthethwa

5km results


Ntando Mdletshe

Gift Zungu

Sanele Mthembu


Mandisa Buthelezi

Lwandisa Skhakhane

Siyamthanda Dube

*AHRI will host the Durban leg of Iyonayona in Inanda during July.