The Cows Media Release


15 Apr 2019

Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Brave  Cows aim to swim Lake Malawi for CHOC

Durban - A group of brave open-water swimmers plan to swim across Lake Malawi later in April to raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa.

The core of the group of swimmers has already experienced this sort of challenge before, having successfully completed the dangerous eight kilometre crossing of Lake Jozini in 2018, and they have now set their sights on the 24 kilometre crossing of Lake Malawi.

The group is made up of Ruth and Jay Azran, a South African couple living in Swaziland, Andrew Stevens, a South African living in Australia, and Chris and Polly Stapley, together with experienced Cape Town-based skipper Walter Muggleton who has been brought in to supervise the gruelling open-water crossing, plans to take on the swim from Makanjila Point to Senga Bay, in a window period sometime between 23 and 29 April.

Stevens, at 64, will become the oldest swimmer to complete the crossing when he reaches Senga Bay, while Jay and Ruth Azran will be the first married couple to complete the crossing. They plan to swim in two groups to accommodate the different speeds that they normally swim at.

‘’Only twelve people have successfully completed the solo crossing to date," explained Jay Azran.

"It is certainly a big challenge and anything can happen on the day," said Azran. "We are in the hands of the weather to quite a large degree, but we are determined to be successful," he added.

"Ruth, Andy and myself have decided to do the swim for the Childhood Cancer Foundation, which is Ruth’s choice and a truly magnificent initiative.

"All of us have been affected by cancer during our lives, be it personal, friends or family. If they can go through that, we can do our best to pound it out for 24km in these waters," said Azran.

Stevens has previously swum the Rottnest Channel swim in Australia, an open water swim of close to twenty kilometres, whilst the longest training swims to date for Ruth and Jay Azran have been sixteen kilometres.

If you would like to make a financial pledge to those children in need, please visit
or use the following bank details:
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: Killarney
Branch code: 007205
Account Name: CHOC COWS
Account Number: 203710843
Reference: Enter your name / Malawi Swim
Please send POP to

More information about The Cows can be found at

About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference and raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa. Cordi van Niekerk was one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.

As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family's life in the last few weeks of Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.

In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to 140 energetic cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.

Ten later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing cow suits. The Cows have raised well over R30 million for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.

One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love Living Life!

More information can be found at


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic

 The Cows Logo - JPeg


The route across Lake Malawi that will be tackled by the five swimmers at the end of April, fromMakanjila Point to Senga Bay. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

Avid open water swimmers from left) , Ruth Azran, Andrew Stevens and Jay Azran plan to swim across Lake Malawi to raise funds and awareness for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

The group of (from left) Jay Azran, Ruth Azran, Jose de Charmoy, Andrew Stevens and Mike Oberholtzer after their successful swim across the Jozini Gorge in 2018. The Azrans and Stevens will attempt to swim across Lake Malawi at the end of April. to raise funds and awareness for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

Conditions of usage of photographs: All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements, commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you, please advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you cannot access the images, please contact:
Gameplan Media
(031) 764 3017