In South Africa, National Women’s Day is celebrated annually on the 9th of August and forms part of Women’s Month where we pay tribute to incredible women who have paved the way and laid the foundation to empower women and strive for gender equality.
Women’s Day not only celebrates the impact and contribution strong women play in our country but also highlights the strength and resilience of women competing in male-dominated industries, like field guiding. The theme this year is: “Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Improved Resilience”. The concept of Generation Equality is a global campaign and links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030. Today we pay tribute to the resilient, strong, patient and loving women who are pioneers of the women’s movement in our beautiful country.
During this Women’s Month, we honour and pay tribute to all our strong, powerful, resilient and committed women across all departments and divisions that form part of our Kapama Family. We salute you all.
We are also very proud of the seven female Kapama Field Guides pioneering the path forward for other women to follow. All across Africa female guides are breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes by moving into a male-dominated industry.
Our Safari Manager, Liezel Homes, who has been in the industry for over 18 years, heads up our field guiding team. Her contribution, knowledge and leadership have been instrumental in upskilling trackers to become assistance guides, making Kapama one of the only Private reserves where guests have the expertise of a guide as well as an assistant guide during their twice-daily safaris.
Furthermore, Kapama honours our other 6 female field guides who form part of the guiding team consisting of Tsakani and Sonnia, who started in February 2021, Lindi, Sindi and Priscilla with over 4 years of experience as well as Queen Manyike with over 2 years’ experience.
Recently Queen was included in the MasterCard #SheIsPriceless campaign focusing on women who have made it in a man’s world – and following their passions on very different career paths as they embrace career challenges and strive for inclusion. They are real-world role models, proving that anything is possible, regardless of age, gender, or background.
The exert from the MasterCard – #SheIsPriceless campaign;
“Queen Manyike is one of the remarkably few female game rangers working in the greater Kruger National Park at the magnificent Kapama Game Reserve. Manyike grew up in a large family in Hoedspruit, where her love of the bush and nature was inspired by her father, who has worked at a nearby reserve for more than 30 years.
During school holidays, Manyike got to attend nature and conservation workshops, and her passion grew. That passion was recognised by the CEO of Eco Children, who encouraged her to pursue a career as a guide, and Mike Kendrick of Wild Shots Outreach, an NPO engaging young people from disadvantaged communities in and around the Kruger area through photography. Kendrick bought Manyike her first camera and laptop to support her efforts.
Manyike is also a member of Girls Who Click, a group of women actively involved in wildlife photography. At the spectacular Kapama Reserve, she takes guests out on game drives in the early mornings and evenings, where she gets to share her knowledge and love of the African bushveld—from the majestic Big Five safari animals to the smallest creatures, integral to a vibrant ecosystem. Entertaining and educating guests provides the opportunity for her to shoot priceless moments, giving those who can’t physically get to the picturesque park a chance to see and experience the beauty through her lens.
Manyike is committed to paying it forward, spending time at Eco Children and Wild Shots Outreach to inspire the next generation of women rangers, guides, and wildlife photographers. Manyike is also a mom to a one-year-old daughter. She’s grateful to her mom for taking care of her daughter while she’s at work and studying to improve her knowledge and ability to hold higher positions in conservation.”
For the full story click here!
We are so proud of our lady Field Guides and Safari Manager and look forward to following their careers as they achieve their goals and aspirations and forge the path for others to follow.
Happy Women’s Month.