MALABO, Equatorial Guinea — Victor Mooney, AIDS activist and executive director of New York-based South African Arts International, Ltd. (SAAI) is taking the spirit of the 9th Sullivan Summit, which officially ended Aug. 24 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on his fourth bid to cross the Atlantic Ocean by rowing.
Mooney plans to depart from the Las Palmas, Canary Islands and row 5,000 miles, including a stop in Miami, on an approximately eight-month voyage back to New York’s Brooklyn Bridge later this year.
“Only the strongest (of his African ancestors) survived the arduous task of crossing the Atlantic Ocean,” said Mooney. “I’m determined with the fathers’ blessing to complete this mission.”
History for the African Diaspora was cemented on the shores of the tiny nation during the 9th Sullivan Summit, he said, intertwined with the announcements of updates on infrastructure, partnerships, education, health care, cultural exchanges, dual citizenship and human capital investments during the summit.
“President (Teodoro) Obiang's vision to prepare the country for the present and future generations was clearly disseminated,” said Mooney. “It’s time to get on board and be part of a great renaissance that is taking place in Equatorial Guinea and Africa.”
Mooney has pledged to keep the camaraderie alive, naming his Brazilian custom-made ocean rowboat Spirit of Malabo. He urges the public to take a seat on the Spirit of Malabo and follow him on twitter.com/goreechallenge.
During his journey, a global audience will have an exclusive opportunity to learn about the cultural treasures of this nation. A virtual exhibition of art works will be hosted on GoreeChallenge.com for the project. Updates will be translated from English to Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic via ListServ, he said.
ON A MISSION
Periodically, Mooney plans to participate in online conversations with classrooms worldwide aboard the Spirit of Malabo.
“We are facing a continued crisis on both continents as we battle against HIV/AIDS, he said. “It’s my continued faith that this mission will encourage voluntary HIV testing and increase AIDS education.”
The stated mission of South African Arts International is to promote multimedia events in venues all over the world; to exhibit
the works of artist, artisans, musicians, scholars and professionals; to facilitate worldwide cultural understanding; disseminate and exchange international art and culture; to provide scholarships, sponsor cultural events and artistic seminars; to increase awareness of global pandemic of HIV/AIDS.
On Mooney’s historic arrival at Brooklyn Bridge Park, cultural dancers from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea will welcome the rower on the banks of New York’s East River.
* Pictured above is Victor Mooney