Gugu passed away in July last year while summiting the African mountain after suffering from respiratory problems.
“Even as I was descending last year with Gugu, I knew that I had to return. I had to do it for him. I had to do it for me. I had to do it for the people this initiative helps support,” she told TshisaLive in an interview.
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“I want to honour my husband and I’m going back in memory of him. I know it is what he would have wanted,” she said.
She opened up about the struggles of coming to grips with Gugu’s death and the void, saying that for the better part of the past year, she’s been functioning on autopilot.
“I was on autopilot, but I am fully aware now of what is happening. I have had to prepare for this climb emotionally and it has been difficult. I still haven’t completely processed everything that has happened, but I am taking it one step at a time,” Zulu was quoted saying.
In an interview with CliffCentral earlier this year, Zulu revealed the financial strain she has been under since losing her husband.
“It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that much. I had incredible support with laying him to rest, I didn’t have to worry about anything… I have obviously gone from a two-income household to one, but I have found a way,” she told Gareth Cliff at the time.
Hear more from Zulu’s latest interview with Ruda Landman, who sat down with her to discuss memory, family and the friendship of a faraway stranger who helped to lead her back to the light.