On April 9th 2016, a 3-person team of mobile journalists will begin an epic 14,000 km trans-African cycling expedition from Cape Town, South Africa to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Travelling unsupported for up to 10 months, carrying all their equipment, the team will produce documentary shorts that showcase ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their community and planet. This promo video summarises 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 social entrepreneurship based, 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 continents’ 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.
The team comprises of Steven Bland – a 29 year old sustainability professional and Russell Galt – a 31 year old ecologist, who have both quit their jobs to embark on this expedition. The third member of the team, Hamish Galt, is 19 and on his pre-University gap year.
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 April 8th – 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 donate 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.”
The team departed with a goodbye breakfast from Woodstock Cycle Works, Searle Street, Cape Town on 9th April.