Born into a working-class family in a township outside Uitenhage, South Africa, Deshun came to prominence in 1996 when selected to participate in her nation’s first Everest Expedition. She has subsequently been on 13 high altitude expeditions on 5 continents.
Down to earth person - going to great heights!
Deshun Deysel is best known to the South Africa public as the only black female high altitude mountaineer in the world. She was a member of two South African expeditions to Mount Everest – the first South African expedition in 1996 and the Discovery Everest expedition in 2003.
She holds a Higher Diploma in Education from Rand College and Rand Afrikaans University and spent five years as a schoolteacher during which time her dream to climb Mt Everest was realised. After returning from her first Everest expedition, Deshun joined the I Can Foundation - running youth development workshops and women specific programmes for two years. Deshun spent six years with The Pacific Institute SA as a process facilitator and accreditor, as well as a conference speaker at The Pacific Institute USA.
With her diverse experience in self–image psychology, business performance management, corporate social responsibility and conference facilitation, she co-founded SINIRGI International with her UK Partner – Vandana Cowley, previously director of the European Union Development Programme.
She has addressed audiences in and from the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Russia, Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana, etc. with accounts of her inspirational rise from obscurity to mountaineer and businesswoman.
For her contributions as a role model and her achievements in general, Deshun has received some highly prestigious awards, including the Four Outstanding Young South Africans Award (FOYSA) in 1997, the Diva Africa Award and was inducted as one of the friends and ambassadors for the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation in 2004.
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