Zimbabwe: Benjamin Mkapa Wildlife Award Photographs On Show

Sifelani Tsiko — Innovations Editor

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) yesterday hosted the prestigious Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition to celebrate the African Wildlife Foundation’s 60th anniversary.

The Mkapa Photo Awards is named to honor one of Africa’s most beloved leaders — Benjamin Mkapa, who served as President of Tanzania from 1995 to 2005.

Mkapa was one of the longest-serving African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) trustees whose passion and commitment towards conservation and African leadership have inspired the conception of this annual global competition focused on bringing Africa to the world and the world to Africa.

“The exhibition is important to Africa in many ways,” said Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry in a speech that was read on his behalf by permanent secretary Munesu Munodawafa.

“It inspires the African people to embrace and engage with nature. It raises awareness among our people about the importance of conserving nature which we depend on for our livelihoods and well-being.

“It reminds us of the unique natural heritage endowed to us, and the unique relationship we have to our wild animals and wild spaces.

“It depicts some of the challenges that we encounter in our conservation journey such as poaching, human conflict, climate change, illegal immigration trade, and trafficking of wildlife products, among others. In so doing, it provokes thoughts and ideas of potential solutions and policy responses to these conservation challenges.”

The exhibition showcased the works of photographers from Africa and around the world that inspire and advocate for wildlife conservation.

This is the second time that this Wildlife Photography Award is being hosted in Africa in commemoration of the African Wildlife Foundation’s 60th Anniversary.

In line with AWF’s mission to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa — the global competition aims to celebrate the natural world through the art of photography

The competition’s goal is to engage, involve, and attract photographers at all levels of expertise, encouraging behavioral change towards wildlife conservation.

The 16-category global competition received close to 9 000 entries from 50 countries worldwide, including 10 countries in Africa.

“Our 60 years of experience in Africa has taught us that conservation creativity and resourcefulness,” said AWF Zimbabwe country director Olivia Mufute in a speech requires read on her behalf by Simon Muchatibaya.