Thursday, March 27, 2014

ZTA Endorses African Records Expedition

March 27, 2014
Moroccan explorer and historian Ibn Battuta who traveled far and wide during the early 14th century. 
Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has endorsed the African Records World Expedition that would go across 47 countries in five continents and covering 52 000km in 14 months.

This shall be the first such road attempt by an African, led by Kwame Tapiwa Muzawazi, who himself was the first African to cross the African continent by road travel in 2010 and a world record holder with the Guinness World Records.

The expedition is expected to commence on January 1, 2015.

“This great history and pedigree of African contributions to the fields of travel and tourism should however, not nuance the critical contribution that the African Records World Expedition potentially possesses in helping Africa and the world hear a different story about Africa, directly from Africans who are in a sense going to embark on a door to door campaign for the Motherland.

“Suffice it to say, if the expedition ends successfully, this will be the first time that an African has actually circumnavigated the circumference of the earth’s surface by land. The first time that an African has physically travelled around the world,” Karikoga Kaseke, who is the ZTA chief executive and patron of the African Records World Expedition, said.

He said he was happy that a Zimbabwean had taken the initiative to travel around the world and tell the African story. “While Ibn Battuta and others have led the way for Africans by travelling to far away countries, they left the ultimate challenge to someone else, and I am glad that out own mwana wevhu has decided to shoulder this gigantic challenge,” Kaseke said. The furthest travel by an African was by Battuta of Morocco, who travelled to almost all the Muslim counties of his time, hitting 120 000km of road and sea travel.

Kaseke said despite the seemingly insurmountable nature of the challenge, he was confident that the expedition would end successfully.

“The man leading the journey, Kwame Muzawazi, is a man with a track record of beating records. At 19 in 2003, he floored an Indian professor to claim the title of the longest lecture in the world that lasted a mind-blowing 121 hours.

“This record still stands as a world record and is Zimbabwe’s only entry in the Guinness World Records to date. Later on, in 2010, Muzawazi’s six-month one-man expedition of 24 000km from London to Cape Town, was the first ever drive across Africa by land by an African.

“I therefore hope and believe that the same grit, stay power and perseverance will aid Muzawazi and team to a successful crossing of the world,” Kaseke said. He said the expedition would give Africans a chance to join the list of the world’s navigators and explorers who helped change and shape world history.

“I call on the people of Zimbabwe, stakeholders, embassies, Government departments and the entire continent of Africa to rally behind this historic journey. We shall soon as ZTA host an event to mark the countdown to the journey,” he said.

Muzawazi will be joined on the expedition by representatives from other five African countries including South Africa, Kenya and Morocco.

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