Education Bursary Recipient 2008 – Enos Mngomezulu
Enos Mngomezulu is known to many guests of Pafuri Camp in the Kruger National Park as a quietly spoken, very knowledgeable guide. He has received a bursary from the Trust to study Natural Resource Management at the Southern African Wildlife College. The overall aim is to have someone within the Makuleke community trained with the knowledge necessary to manage the resources of the Makuleke concession in the Kruger National Park.
The year-long certificate course provides the following outcomes in a conservation management environment and application:
- Supervise operational situation in order to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.
- Exercise leadership of people involved in operational situations in order to enhance their performance and productivity.
- Implement, supervise and evaluate management planning practices, e.g. integrated catchment management, plant and animal management, security and legal aspects, cultural heritage management and tourism development in order to monitor progress and performance against goals.
- Undertake supervisory and operational functions while continually monitoring and adapting own performance as required.
- Use firearm competently and maintain area integrity.
- Develop a set of values and ethics regarding conservation and environmental issues.
- Implement policies regarding HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
- Maintain infrastructure in conserved areas.
- Understand ecosystem components and processes.
- Promote conservation understanding through cooperation with local communities and environmental education.
In his own words…
I am a member of the Makuleke Community that was forcibly removed from the so-called Pafuri Triangle in 1969, when it was added to the Kruger National Park, and resettled in the area of Nthlaveni some 100km away. Although not yet born at that time, my parents were young adults and were part of the removals. Since 1998 we have succeeded in restoring ownership of the land to the community in the form of the Makuleke Communal Property Association (CPA) and we have implemented several programmes and processes to increase and improve capacity within the community to administer and manage our asset in a responsible and sustainable way, both in the environmental and financial context.
To this end some 20 young members of the community have been through University of South Africa (UNISA) diplomas and degrees in various environmental and financial fields and are now gaining experience in various fields in the ecotourism industry in particular. Currently the Pafuri Triangle is jointly managed as a contractual park with the Kruger National Park responsible for conservation activities, private concessionaires for ecotourism and commercial opportunities and the Makuleke CPA comprising 50% of the Joint Management Board. Ultimately it is vital for the long term sustainability of the area that we, as a community, are able to manage all functions of the area ourselves.
Accordingly, and as one of the members of the community fortunate enough to be guided through UNISA and other qualifications, I see it as a personal responsibility to obtain the necessary skills and experience in this field and to contribute to the sustainability of our communal heritage and asset. Since completing my UNISA diploma in Nature Conservation I have worked at two private lodges in order to gain experience in the ecotourism field. This has entailed a year-long stretch at Entabeni Lodge and more than two years at Pafuri Camp within the Makuleke Contractual Park. While the skills I have obtained in the employ of the aforementioned lodges are invaluable in the ecotourism business, I have not been involved with hands-on conservation management. I feel I am now sufficiently fluent in an ecological and environmental understanding of the area and its management needs to benefit comprehensively from further studies, including the practical implementation of theoretical conservation skills.
As a result I intend completing the certificate course in Natural Resource Management offered by the premier conservation skills training provider in South Africa, the Southern African Wildlife College.
Enos has passed his course with flying colours! Below are the comments on his certificate.
Certificate in Natural Resource Management
Student name: Enos Mngomezulu
Final Mark: 88%
The Certificate was obtained with Distinction
Enos has achieved a great set of results in the Certificate Course.
Enos climbed into the limelight early with his appointment as president of the SRC. His participation in class was appreciatively noted and his energetic organising for field trips and practicals were skilled indeed.
Enos is a conservation ambassador and his dedication will greatly benefit his organisation. We wish him every success in his future career.
In May, Enos was invited to give a speech at a fundraising function at the Sandton Sun Hotel on behalf of all the students of the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC).
Riperile.’ Good evening ladies and gentlemen. There is a Tsonga-Shangaan proverb which says: ‘Loko unga fambi u Ta teka makwenu’ it simply means ‘if you do not travel you will marry your sister or brother.’ This means that if you don’t travel you will not be exposed to things. Here I am ladies and gentlemen, for the first time, standing in front of a large audience and above all wearing a Tuxedo.
Good evening once more Ladies and Gentlemen. My name is Enos Mngomezulu. I come from Makuleke Community in Limpopo Province near Kruger National Park (KNP). I am one of the students in the Southern African Wildlife College doing a course in Natural Resource Management. I work for Wilderness Safaris as senior field guide at Pafuri Camp in the KNP and I’ve been working there for two years. I’ve been working as guide for the last five years and I love the job I am doing, but sometimes I think I want to change and do something else more challenging in conservation.
One thing that keeps my spirits high is the place where I work. This place is the land which is about 24 000 hectares and only about one percent of the KNP. This land has nine vegetation types, spectacular views and scenery and it is one of the best places for birding. We see special birds like the Pel’s Fishing Owl, Narina Trogon, Three-banded Courser, Black Eagle, to name but a few. The land is also known for its large herds of elephant and buffalo. It also has beautiful forests like the fever-tree forest and the lala-palm forest along the floodplains of the rivers. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am talking about the land in the far northern side of the KNP, the land between the Luvuvhu and the Limpopo rivers. I am very proud to work on this land which is my own land.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me take you a bit back. The Makuleke Community where I live once lived on this land I am talking about. They lived there between the mid-1800s till 1969 where we lost our land during the old government. The land was then used by KNP for conservation.
In 1994 the new government introduced the land claim policy and as the community we claimed this land. In 1998 we managed to regain the ownership of the land and the community decided to maintain the conservation status of the land. The land was returned with full commercial rights but there were no skills in the community to manage it in terms of conservation management. It was then agreed that KNP will continue to do conservation management of the land until such time that there will be people with skill in the community to manage the land. KNP is doing well in managing the land, but I would like to see in the future people from the community getting involved in the conservation management of the land. This is one of the reasons I am doing this course with SAWC.
The future of humankind depends upon natural resources and it is our responsibility to look after our natural resources for the benefit of the future generations. Proper training is still needed in Natural Resource Management more especially for local people. Allow me to say that the course offered at SAWC is of a high standard and not everyone can afford. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the donors of the college who donate towards training in Natural Resource Management. I say you are doing a good job, by so doing we have a future and the next generation has a bright future because natural resources will be preserved for them.
There is another Tsonga-Shangaan proverb which says: ‘Xi wundli, xi Ta ku wundla’, it simply means ‘Take care of it and it will take care of you’. If we look after our natural resources, ladies and gentlemen, we are doing that for our own benefit and the benefit of future generations. I would like to thank the donors again – I am standing in front of you today and doing this course because of you.
My passion has always been in conservation, I remember as a boy of 8 years I use to look after about 50 goats at home. Now with the training I am getting at SAWC I can look after hundreds of elephants, buffalo, and all wildlife in general.