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Father and son team up in saving elephants

A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he is meant to be. We became friends, not just father and son. My son and I call each other ‘bro’; we are brothers. No love is greater than that of a father for his son. A son may outgrow a father’s lap, but he will never outgrow his heart.

This is not the first campaign walk that my son has joined me. His first experience was in 2015 when he was 10 years old. ‘It was my first time to join my father on his campaign and young as I was, it was a great learning opportunity. I got to visit Tanzania where I had not been before, and especially enjoyed my experience in Arusha. I got to learn a lot about wildlife conservation and what my father’s job is entails, a true hero in my eyes. After that walk I got more interested in his campaigns and that is why I decided to join him on this year’s campaign. So far, I have walked about 134 KM and I will walk till the end of this campaign which will be at Lunga-lunga. My father is like no one else. He has always believed in me, protected me, strengthened me, and I know without a doubt that he loves me unconditionally and this is why I will always continue to support and learn more through him to be able to carry on his legacy’ says Justin Nyamu.

Don’t wait until your son is a man to make him great, make him great as boy. This is why since I started the Tsavo East – Shimba Hills ecosystem – Lunga-Lunga Elephant Campaign walk, at every point I stop to address residents of a certain area, I give Justin a chance to speak as well and through this he will gain more confidence and be a great public speaker. It is not all about just the walking he also gets to see the challenges I face while on the road, including the extremely high temperatures which can make it difficult to walk but we still move on.
During Jamhuri Day, on the 12th of December, 2022, we joined the residents of Kinango Sub-County to celebrate the national holiday which marks the date when Kenya gained independence. The Governor, Kwale County, Hon. Fatuma Mohamed Achani, was present accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Josephat Kombo along with other honourable politicians who showed interest and were keen on highlighting the topic on elephant conservation which is a prevailing issue in areas surrounding the Tsavo – Shimba Hills ecosystem, i.e., human – elephant conflicts. Some showed support towards our campaign while others didn’t. I want to tell my son and anyone out there facing challenges in whatever journey they are undertaking, to stay vigilant and trust in their process which may be challenging but will bear fruit in persistence. Additionally, always be kind to yourself and others as often as you can.

It is a great honour to see my son walking beside me and it really gives me more strength when I am walking. I usually advise community members during my campaign that children are the future generation and we need to conserve our environment and protect our wildlife for them, placing emphasis on sustainability and sustainable practices.

I would to love to see my son grow up and follow in my footsteps, continuing to raise awareness on the plight of elephants directly relating to wildlife conservation and habitat restoration through advocacy.

There is a saying that goes ‘behind every young boy who believes in himself is a father who believed in him first’. Parents, never give up on your children; continue to nurture them with love and care and they will surely make you proud.