Mojo Velo Journalists Share Notes on Namibian Adventure
The MYD Africa Show throwback series looks at some highlights of the most memorable interviews on the show and this episode of MYD Earth is no different.
Kirsty Watermeyer talks to the cycling journalists from Mojo Velo who have trekked from Cape Town to Addis Ababa and what their journey has meant thus far.
MYD: Maybe we can start by introducing yourselves first of all. Hamish do you want start us off?
Hamish: So my name is Hamish Galt. I’m nineteen years old and I am going to be studying economics and geography at university and I’m on this adventure because I’ve got a real thirst for adventure and I I’m going into something where I’m really interested in.
Stephen: My names Stephen Bland. I’m 29-years-old recently and I’m not related to these two but very close friends, and I used to work in environmental sustainability for the last five years or so and I wanted to get out of that but somehow stay related and get inspired by every day stories.
Russell: My name is Russell Galt, thanks for having us. I’m also Scottish, I’m Hamish’s brother as you may have noticed. I’m an ecologist by training. I’ve worked in Cape Town for the last five years and now I’m on this wild adventure with two great friends and I’m not sure where I’ll end up after Addis Ababa which is our end point.
MYD: Tell us about your project, Mojo Velo?
Stephen: We’re cycling about 14 000 kilometres, carrying all our gear on our bicycles, spending most of our time while camping or spending time in campsites and along the way we make short inspiring documentaries of the stories of the people we meet, particularly looking at environmental sustainability. So what are the inspiring, positive stories of people doing amazing things for their community or for their planet, but maybe don’t get a good airing in the mainstream press? A lot of the time we hear lots of negative stories particularly on the African continent about war and poverty, but what are people doing to make their own lives better and the lives of others better?
MYD: When you travel through Africa and you find these incredibly inspiring stories, what are you going to do with the videos?
Russell: Well first of all using iPhones which have really fantastic inbuilt cameras to make documentaries and then using iMovie to edit and produce them and just uploading them on YouTube and the website and various social media platforms, but the aim is really to promote the people and their initiatives as much as possible, so we’ve been trying to engage as many people on social media and we have a couple of films in the pipeline at the moment that we are working on, and I suppose the aim is that we will challenge the sometimes negative perceptions that people have of Africa and rather celebrate the unsung heroes of sustainability and innovation, and yes it’s quite striking how much is actually taking place.
Africa of course has a really vibrant second economy, this is the informal economy and it seems to be driven by necessity and necessity seems to be the mother of invention, and it’s also been quite striking that there are so many women involved in this sector as well or in this informal economy, so we are scoping the continent, getting in touch with various groups and networks and trying to identify the sustainability so as we can promote on the way.
Question: How long have you guys been in Namibia?
Stephen: How long have we been in Namibia, three weeks. Namibia has been amazing.
Hamish: At least. Longer than we thought actually, we can’t get away, we are having so much fun.
Russell: It’s a dream to come to this country on a bicycle. Vast open spaces. The roads are not too bad. There are some sandy patches as we approached, what was it, Solitaire, Sossusvlei, that sort of area, but otherwise the roads have been pretty good and the traffic is almost.
MYD: What are some of the highlights of Namibia, what have been some of the takeaways that you going to remember forever?
Hamish: I will say firstly that night with the hyena was certainly a huge highlight. I’ll never forget being huddled under a dying fire without the opportunity to go and get more wood to relight it with eyes, green eyes sort of glinting across the horizon and coming, circling our campsite, that was terrifying at the time and I never I thought I’d look back on it fondly. But my goodness the next day we just all felt revitalised and it was exhilarating.
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