This is the dream that I have, which I will pursue. It will be difficult but every effort will be made to achieve it. In my quest I hope to gain the support and involvement of many South African, and Africans, for this. This dream will always be at the forefront of my mind whilst continuing with the planning of the Expedition, and once I start running.
One of the greatest men that has ever lived, if not the greatest, is Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - Madiba. He was born on the 18th July 1918 and although frail, he is still with us today.
He has received more than one hundred awards over four decades, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. The incredible humanity that he displayed to the world, and to his former White oppressors, after his release from 27 years of prison paved the way for a peaceful transition in South Africa to a multi-racial democracy.
The legacy of his achievements and his leadership and the successes and peace that this has created will certainly live on, forever. These achievements reach far beyond the borders of South Africa, not only in their physical application and effect, but also in the message and example set by this great man.
I wish to add my small voice to the awe, respect and honour in which the world holds this man, our Madiba. I intend to dedicate this path that I shall run through sub Saharan Africa to Madiba.
I want to create a trail similar in kind to the famous El Camino trail of Europe. For those of you who have not heard of this trail, which had its origins as a pilgrimage, you may either read about it on the web, and here is one of the many websites that provides this information http://www.caminodesantiago.me.uk/ or watch the film called “The Way”.
Here’s some brief information to whet your appetite:
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known in English as The Way of St James, are a collection of old pilgrimage routes which cover all Europe. They all have Santiago de Compostela in north west Spain as their final destination. For more than 1,000 years pilgrims have walked along the Camino de Santiago.
Walking and hiking the elephant trails and corridors with stop over camp sites and the creation of jobs and informal industry ... and many other possibilities - still to be considered. As time moves on Africa's equivalent of the Camino Trail will grow in greatness and popularity. In future times when people the world over hear and speak Madiba's name - possibly they will point to Africa and say to one another: "let us go and walk that trail – the Madiba Ndlovu Trail, and maybe we will feel his presence, and understand his humanity amidst the vastness of Africa and its most magnificent animals, the Ndlovu (elephants). Then we may get an inkling of the greatness of the man who was, and always will be Africa's Madiba." And many pilgrims will come to bear testimony to all that he has done for the people of the world, the animals, and the Earth itself.
It is my intention to finish the entire Expedition at the place of Nelson Mandela’s birth, in Mveso, a small village in the region of Umtata, now called Mthatha.