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Kenya’s ‘elephant man’ bids farewell, hails Byo hospitality

Jim Justus Nyamu, a Kenyan, who is embarking on an audacious multi-country walkathon to raise awareness on the plight of elephants, has hailed the hospitality he received in the Bulawayo leg of his journey.

Tanaka Mrewa

Jim Justus Nyamu, a Kenyan, who is embarking on an audacious multi-country walkathon to raise awareness on the plight of elephants, has hailed the hospitality he received in the Bulawayo leg of his journey.

Nyamu who began his gruelling walkathon on July 14, arrived in Zimbabwe on September 12 through the Victoria Falls border with Zambia.

He proceeded to Hwange, Lupane and arrived in Bulawayo on Tuesday.

Nyamu is the founder and Director of Elephant Neighbors Center, a Non-Governmental Organization headquartered which promotes peaceful co-existence between elephants and communities, with a mission to protect African elephants and secure their landscape outside protected areas.

Zimbabwe is one of the African countries with a high elephant population.

In his departing remarks, as he leaves for Botswana, Nyamu said Bulawayo “was the best city he has stayed in since the beginning of his walk”.

Nyamu’s destination is set for South Africa marking an end to his journey on October 27.

In an interview with CITE, Nyamu said the journey is getting tough for him as he nears the end of his journey.

He said he sacrifices time he could spend with his family to raise awareness for a noble cause.

“As a team we are facing serious financial constraints,” said Nyamu.

“As it stands I have made arrangements to sell one of my cars back in Kenya and have the money transferred to me to cater for costs incurred in this walk.

“It is sad that many people make pledges but never deliver. Some are under the impression that I make a lot of money out of this”.

He expressed confidence that he had had a positive impact on  the communities and various institutions interacted with.

“From my interactions with people, they acknowledge the positive impact through valuable knowledge,” said Nyamu.

“Most of them confirm to being ignorant to ecosystem issues and describe this campaign as an eye opener”.

Bulawayo Mayor, Solomon Mguni, thanked Nyamu for his efforts and wished him success in his endeavours.

The mayor acknowledged the worrisome decline in the population of elephants that might lead to their extinction and encouraged people to support wildlife conservation efforts.

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