Njinga means bicycle in Nyanja, a Zambian language. As well, in seventeenth century Angola, a strong, courageous, compassionate heroine, who resisted Portuguese colonists for four decades, was known as Queen Njinga.
Njinga, the book about my Breaking the Cycle in Africa expedition, is very nearly there: the chapters have been edited and designed with more than 400 images and maps placed where they fit in to the 156,000-word story (like in Out There and Back), and we have completed the first proofreading. A few more checks and the cover design to finalise and it will be off to the printers. I enjoy writing, but the final stages of producing a book are very time-consuming and at times, tedious. Here are a couple of inspiring Njinga riders, or more correctly ‘users’ that I met in Malawi and Tanzania.
…and a ‘queen’ of the Sahara Desert.
A small taste of what is to come.
Njinga, the feature documentary is basically done except for the final piece of music – the film has an original orchestral score…but that all takes time too. It is to be entered into some major film festivals in the next few weeks. Lateral Vision will start to cut a TV series in May.
I haven’t yet mentioned Breaking the Cycle South Pole, but I have been developing a new plan and have had a few productive meetings recently to find the funding. Training continues though I will have to step it up again soon, and Jeff Soumokil is just about to send me the custom-made polar cycling boots and solar-powered handle bar mitts he has designed and developed. I’m excited to receive these and test them out, though I don’t think winter in Melbourne will be quite as severe as Antarctica! More to come soon, and I believe some exciting times ahead.