A 14,000km journey in search of African sustainability stories

Information provided by: The MojoVelo Project

On 9th April 2016, a three-person team of mobile journalists will begin an epic 14,000km trans-African cycling expedition from Cape Town in South Africa to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Travelling unsupported for up to 10 months, carrying all of their equipment, the team will produce documentary shorts that showcase ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their community and planet. 

drakensberg-landscape

Watch this video to get a better idea about the project:

Embracing the latest Apple iPhone technologies charged mainly by solar energy, MoJo Velo will demonstrate the power of mobile video journalism. The project is seeking sustainability stories that are grassroots or based on social entrepreneurship, which relate to sustainability challenges such as water, energy, food and climate change, and demonstrate innovative and solutions-orientated approaches.

Too often, the continent of Africa is portrayed using a single story of poverty, despair and hopelessness. The MoJo Velo project seeks to challenge these negative perceptions and promote the continent’s innovation, ingenuity and resilience. Potential stories identified so far include the 19,000 strong small-scale organic farmers’ movement in Zimbabwe, and female entrepreneurs using recycled materials to build an innovative design and décor business in Namibia. The documentary shorts will be shared via the project’s website, and on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

steven-summiting

The team comprises of 29-year-old sustainability professional Steven Bland, and 31-year-old ecologist Russell Galt, who have both quit their jobs to embark on this expedition. The third member of the team, Hamish Galt, is 19 and on his gap year before university.

hamish-sani-pass

The project will showcase the highs and lows of remote cycle touring and has been nominated alongside 14 other projects for the Millet Expedition Award – a prestigious award for innovative adventures. A public vote is currently underway and closes on 8th April. Members of the public can vote for MoJo Velo by visiting the Millet voting page and can spread the word among their social media followers by joining the MoJo Velo Thunderclap. Direct donations are also being sought for vital project equipment and can be made via the website’s donation page.

Dominique Vandenhoudt, founder of the Media Academy South Africa, who trained Russell and Hamish in mobile journalism techniques, said: “This trip has the potential to make an important contribution to the growing movement of mobile journalism by sharing grass-roots local stories with the wider world. I am convinced the MoJo Velo project will be a huge success.”

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The team will depart with a goodbye breakfast from Woodstock Cycle Works, Searle Street, Cape Town at 10am on 9th April, and locals can cycle with them for the first day to a campsite 60km north of Cape Town at Ganzekraal in a one-day “micro-adventure”. RSVP to the Facebook event to attend.

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