By Tshepo Motholo and Chris Masia

  • Saul Raphiri, a resident of Ramogodi near GaRankuwa, embodies resilience and determination at 66 years old, showcasing the transformative power of commitment to health and fitness.
  • Transitioning from juvenile soccer to earning a Black Belt Nidan in karate and conquering marathons like City to City and Comrades, Saul’s journey exemplifies his unwavering dedication to physical challenges.
  • Beyond personal achievements, Saul dedicates himself to nurturing the fitness journeys of others as a certified Taebo and aerobics instructor, conducting classes six days a week and representing Gauteng Province in the Golden Oldies Games. Through his efforts, Saul inspires individuals of all ages to embrace an active lifestyle and demonstrates the profound impact of resilience and perseverance.

In a world often filled with uncertainties and challenges, Saul Raphiri stands as a beacon of hope and resilience. Hailing from the serene village of Ramogodi near GaRankuwa, Saul’s life is a testament to the power of determination, perseverance, and a steadfast commitment to health and fitness.

At 66 years old, Saul’s journey began over five decades ago, a time when most would consider physical activity a luxury rather than a necessity. However, for Raphiri, it was a way of life. His foray into the world of fitness commenced in 1968, as a bright-eyed youth participating in juvenile soccer. Little did he know that this initial step would mark the beginning of an extraordinary odyssey.

Transitioning from soccer to karate in 1972, Raphiri quickly found his passion and excelled in the discipline, eventually earning the prestigious Black Belt Nidan. But his thirst for challenges and adventure didn’t end there. Raphiri ventured into the realm of long-distance running, conquering marathons such as the City to City, Loskop, and Om Die Dam ultras with unwavering determination.

However, it was the iconic Comrades Marathon that truly tested Saul’s limits. With sheer grit and indomitable spirit, he completed an impressive ten Comrades Marathons, a feat that speaks volumes about his resilience and perseverance. And as he gears up for his eleventh medal in June 2024, Saul embodies the epitome of endurance and fortitude.

Yet, Saul’s contributions extend far beyond personal achievements. As a certified instructor in Taebo and aerobics, he dedicates his time and expertise to nurturing the fitness journeys of others. With five different aerobics classes conducted six days a week, Saul caters to individuals of all ages, fostering a community of health enthusiasts.

Furthermore, Saul’s altruistic spirit shines through his involvement in the Golden Oldies Games, where he represents Gauteng Province in the 500m brisk walk. His exemplary performances at the national level not only reflect his prowess but also inspire others to embrace an active lifestyle regardless of age.

Moreover, Saul’s commitment to promoting fitness transcends geographical boundaries. Through mass aerobics sessions conducted across provinces at the Golden Games, he advocates for the importance of physical activity in preventing chronic diseases and fostering overall well-being.

In a world where hope sometimes feels elusive, Saul Raphiri’s journey serves as a poignant reminder that resilience, perseverance, and a dedication to health can illuminate even the darkest of times. As he continues to inspire both young and old alike, Saul’s legacy reverberates with the echoes of hope, proving that with unwavering determination, anything is possible.


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