Tsepo Ramonene possesses the usual marathon runner’s physique, a modest height with a slight frame and no body fat to be seen. It’s no wonder he has to wear multiple layers of t-shirts and jackets to keep warm, winter in Lesotho can be bitterly cold. When you first meet Tsepo you soon get the sense that he will not be asking many questions. He is a very quiet and humble young man and after learning more about his situation and where he is coming from, you can see the reason for his timid persona.
When you asked Tsepo what he does, he simply replies, “I run”. Running is Tsepo’s life. Both his parents are unemployed. His dad receives a very small pension from working in the mines, but not enough to support the family. Tsepo is the sole breadwinner he feeds his family with the small winnings he earns from his races. His parents are proud of his achievements so far and they know when he goes to a race he will return with something.
The current marathon world record is 2h:03min. Tsepo’s personal best is 2h 16min, within Olympic qualification standard. This shows great talent and potential considering his age. At the age of 20 he has plenty years ahead of him to develop his talent. With the right support, coaching and nutrition Tsepo could be a world champion. Before a race he eats white bread with tea. His gradmother sometimes gives him R50 from her monthly pension which he uses to buy energy drink sachetts.
Tsepo’s wish is to finnish his schooling. He has only completed primary school. As his parents couldn’t afford to send him to high school which is about R1500 a year in Lesotho.
His dreams are to have a proper home and one day build a house for his family.
Tsepo will be competing in the London Olympic marathon.
Thanks to the Filmmaker Christian Denslow for emailing me about this inspiring video and all the best to