In the age of cheap flights, combinations of trains and buses and other comfortable means of transportation, hitchhiking seems to be losing its steam, but not for Zimbabwean young man, Alvin Zhakata.
The soccer fan, last week, began hitchhiking from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo in Egypt for this year’s 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon). This year’s game gets underway on Friday in Cairo with hosts Egypt meeting the Warriors of Zimbabwe in the opening match, and Zhakata is all set to watch his team compete.
He began the epic Cape-to-Cairo hitchhike with a South African and Bafana Bafana fan, Botha Msila. The two football fans have been hitching a ride from several motorists along their way and were videoing every waking moment of their travels on social media to keep followers up-to-date.
They had planned to pass through nine African cities and many countries while covering about 10,220km to Cairo to watch their teams compete in the Afcon tournament.
However, they were stranded for three days at the Kenyan-Ethiopia border town of Moyale after being denied visas by the Ethiopian authorities to pass through the country.
The pair had travelled over 6000kms without any major issue before being stopped by changes to visa rules in Ethiopia.
“Ethiopia introduced visa immigration requirements for all Zimbabweans and South Africans travelling by road through the country starting in March this year, but there is a visa waiver for those travelling by air,” reportsThe South African.
Zhakata’s colleague, Msila, subsequently decided to make his way to Egypt by air.
“I found that it is going to be difficult for us to pass through the border so I choose not to be a difficult person to other countries,” said Msila on Twitter.
“I feel that it is better for me to go back to my country to get a visa… or take another mode of transport to go to Egypt.”
Zhakata was, however, not moved by the incident that happened at the border, stressing that he would complete the journey despite the absence of his Bafana Bafana friend.
“Please note that I, Alvin Harry Jnr Takura Zhakata am proceeding with my journey to Egypt to watch the AFCON 2019. My friend Botha Msila has made his decision, and is already on his way to Nairobi, but I will forge ahead and fulfill my dearly held dream,” Zhakata wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, participating teams for the tournament have begun arriving in Cairo, Egypt for the competition that will kickstart from June 21 to July 19.