Learners have rallied in support of Rights for Rhino campaigners, Paul Jennings and Sboniso ‘Spoon’ Phakati, whose education and awareness walk from Musina to Cape Town is now underway. Since embarking on their travels on 09 May 2011, the two have visited four schools – Musina Primary, Soutpansberg Primary, Louis Trichardt Junior School and Ridgeway Independent School - reaching around 2 400 learners.
“The children from Musina Primary gave us a fantastic sendoff, walking with us all the way to the N1 and shouting ‘save the rhino’ at the top of their lungs,” said a delighted Jennings. Equally excited, he added, were learners from Louis Trichardt Junior School who had made cutouts and posters of rhinos ahead of the conservationists’ visit.
The two walking companions are averaging around 25 km each a day, followed by their trusty Nissan NP300 Hardbody backup vehicle. Said Dirk Meissenheimer of Louis Trichardt’s Mount Fuji Motors, one of the Nissan dealerships that are on hand to offer assistance along the way: “It was a pleasure to help Paul and Spoon find camping accommodation on their arrival in the town.”
The pair has now reached Polokwane where they will be given an escort by the South African Police Service (SAPS) horse unit.
“We are amazed at the reception we have received so far from the South African public,” said Phakati. “It is especially awe-inspiring to see our youth become so involved and passionate about the rhino cause.”
Jennings and Phakati will also meet with conservation organisations and fellow game rangers in order to drum up as much support as possible for the beleaguered rhino on the next leg of their 1 700 km walk.
STORY BY NISSAN