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  • Writer's pictureBushwise Student

Igniting a passion for wildlife conservation in my village

3 min read

My name is Khoza Honest from Worcester village, Ga-Sekororo. I'm 25 years old. I went to Mmalesiba Secondary School and completed my matric in 2020. I have been making a living since my younger age by looking after village elders’ cattle so that I would be able to provide for myself since my mother was not able to work due to her health condition.

That boosted me to help her out with minor things as I was not putting demand on her. I enjoyed looking after the cattle – it gave me an adventure in the forest as I used to fetch the cattle each and every day after school. The forest taught me so much, and I realised how connected we are with nature and that made me start to develop the instinct to want to know more.

I started with the aim of wanting to explore what the forest was offering me. Unfortunately, it was not easy for me due to lack of resources and discouragement from some of the community members. They kept on teasing me that those things are not meant for me, but there was one thing that kept on playing in my mind – that they do not know what they are talking about.

I used to catch snakes at home and release them in the forest. Particularly brown house snakes and puff adders, and that was not sitting well with my mother. She did not like what I was doing. One day she came across a Mozambique spitting cobra and she called me. When I got there, I told her that I could not catch that one because it was too fast and it would spit at me. They killed it and I was not happy with that.

Sometimes I was surprised when some people questioned me about things regarding nature. It made me realise that I'm not the only one who loves to know more about the wild. After experiencing nature firsthand, I'm motivated to cultivate a love for it and seek answers rather than passively accepting its revelations.

All this personal experience made me start looking for ways that could help me further the little knowledge I already had. I had applied to a few institutions for nature conservation, unfortunately, it did not go as expected until I came across Bushwise. But I did not have financial muscle at that time. 

I decided to approach one of my community leaders about my goals and he told me that he would approach me if he came across a scholarship. In 2023, I was working at Makalali Private Game Lodge under conservancy doing fence maintenance. After that, he did as promised and introduced me to the Tourvest scholarship through Bushwise. That time I already knew that this is what has been waiting for me and I told myself that I'm going to take this opportunity to make changes to my village so that they would be able to know the importance of nature. 

Ready to embark on a transformative journey of your own? Explore Bushwise courses here! 



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