Zimbabwe bride weds days after losing arm in croc attack

Zanele Ndlovu walks down the aisle on her wedding day at a hospital chapel in Bulawayo. (AP Photo)
Updated 08 May 2018

Zimbabwe bride weds days after losing arm in croc attack

  • Zanele Ndlovu-Fox exchanged vows with her husband Jamie Fox in a hospital chapel before 60 guests in Bulawayo.
  • The lovers were canoeing along the Zambezi river, near the Victoria Falls, when they were attacked by a crocodile.

HARARE: A Zimbabwean woman lost her arm after a crocodile attack whilst holidaying with her fiancé wedded days later in a hospital chapel, state media reported Tuesday.
Zanele Ndlovu-Fox exchanged vows with her husband Jamie Fox in a hospital chapel before 60 guests in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city.
A picture in The Herald showed Ndlovu-Fox decked out in her white wedding gown with her remaining upper right limb covered in white bandage.
The lovers were canoeing along the Zambezi river, near the Victoria Falls, when they were attacked by a crocodile few days earlier.
“The crocodile just jumped out of the water and bit a chunk of my arm together with the side of the boat,” Ndlovu-Fox told the newspaper.
“The canoe started deflating and it all happened so fast. The crocodile bit me again and pulled me into the water. My husband was thrown out on the opposite side, so the boat was between us.”
She said her husband and their tour guides wrestled the crocodile which later released her before she was airlifted to a hospital by a helicopter where the crushed part of the arm was amputated.
Hospitalized, she walked up the aisle to wed Fox at the infirmary.
“I spent a lot of time preparing for my wedding day, running around for venue, decor and so forth. I didn’t know that fate would have me wed in a hospital chapel, with one limb missing,” she said.
Despite all this, “my wedding was the best,” Ndlovu-Fox said.
Her husband told the same newspaper that the crocodile attack strengthened their union.
“This incident actually made me feel the deep meaning in our vows. For the better or worse, in sickness and in health, that’s just how our love is going to be,” said Fox.
The couple is reportedly preparing to relocate to Britain soon.


Nepali mountaineer set for final push in record 14-peak bid

Updated 57 min 12 sec ago

Nepali mountaineer set for final push in record 14-peak bid

  • Nirmal Purja arrived at the advance base camp of the 8,201-meter Cho Oyu on Monday
  • The mountaineer has set several speed climbing records this year

KATMANDU: The current record for climbing the world’s 14 tallest peaks is almost eight years. Nepali climber, Nirmal Purja, who served in the British special forces, has a target of seven months.
On Monday Purja arrived at the advance base camp of the 8,201-meter (26,906-feet) Cho Oyu, ready for the final phase of the last three peaks in his feat of astonishing endurance.
“Nobody believed I could do this when I first said it ... I’m so glad to be inspiring generations of all ages through this endeavor. This is what keeps me going,” Purja said by phone.
“This is not about me... it is to show what the human body can do. To establish a paradigm shift in perception of human potential,” Purja said.
Only a teenager when he joined the British Gurkhas, Purja or “Nims dai” climbed both the 8,848-meter Everest and Lhotse at 8,516 meters in a record 10 hours and 15 minutes in 2017.
This inspired the 36-year-old to start “Project Possible,” scaling the 14 peaks — all higher than 8,000 meters — in seven months.
But doing so is radically ambitious. In the 1980s, it took Polish climber Jerzy Kukuczka seven years, 11 months and 14 days.
South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho managed it in about a month less — although he did, unlike Kukuczka and Purja, do it without supplementary oxygen.
Before he set off on his first expedition, Purja had a detailed tattoo of the 14 mountains engraved on his back, with colorful prayer flags tracing his journey to the peaks.
Swapping his army boots for crampons, Purja quit the military after 16 years of service and re-mortgaged his house to begin his expedition and start raising funds.
Purja began his attempt in April with the 8,091-meter Annapurna, checking the illustrious “8,000ers” Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu off his list in only a month to finish his first phase.
A month later, he was heading to Pakistan for the second part of his mission where he first tackled the notorious Nanga Parbat at 8,125 meters. Twenty-three days later he was standing atop Broad Peak, his fifth and final mountain of the second phase.
Battling sleep deprivation to meet his target, Purja said he was almost sprinting up and down five of Pakistan’s highest peaks including K2, the second tallest in the world.
“I felt like this is one down and next to go (with every summit). We still have another to climb,” Purja said.
On track to make climbing history, the phenomenal mountaineer has in the process also set several speed climbing records this year.
This included his summits of Everest, Lhotse and Mount Makalu, three of the world’s five highest mountains, in a record 48 hours — and despite the deadly overcrowding this season on the planet’s top peak.
Purja also made headlines with his miraculous rescue operation of a Malaysian climber from Mount Annapurna after two nights in the open above 7,000 meters.
“It is only a matter of time until he completes his project, he has already proven his amazing capability,” said Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks, Purja’s expedition operator.
Raised in a village in the northwest district of Chitwan, Purja said he did not even have flip-flops growing up.
“My life story tells anyone who doesn’t have privilege to dream about bigger things. Anything is possible if you put your heart and mind and give 100 percent to it,” he said.
He also hopes to lift the standing of Nepali climbers — Sherpas who often work as guides for foreign climbers in the Himalayas — as he feels they are not “given the right credit.”
But there is a potential spanner in the works.
The Chinese government’s decision to close Mount Shishapangma for the season could potentially stymie Purja’s plans.
But efforts are underway to seek a special permission for him.
“Dealing with all sorts from admin, logistics, fundings and politics; now my climbing mode is ON,” he said on Facebook on Monday.