The rhino being named!
Rhino no.1: 8 years old.
Taller, longer and wider, a good listener and inquisitive
Rhino no.2: 7 years old.
Smaller and stumpier, feisty and alert
Sondokhulu – Meaning “Big Foot” to represent the majestic rhino and its impact on the land and area.
Thuza – Meaning ”to charge/strike” to allude to the rhino’s powerful position both physically and metaphorically.
Simanga – Meaning “miracle” in Ndebele, and more specifically meaning people will see and wonder, because the rhino will not only attract tourists but also pique the curiosity and wonder of local people.
Ntuthuko – Meaning “development” in Ndebele as the rhino are seen as a means for local social and economic development in the area.
Masaka – Meaning “bag” in Ndebele. Bags commonly represent wealth in the communties as they are used to carry food and material goods. The rhino will hopefully bring wealth to the people.
Siyazama – Meaning “We are trying” in Ndebele as a representation of the forward-thinking communities in the area, committing to wildlife conservation, a novel and inspirational step for other communities.
Prophet – The rhino are viewed as inspirations for community conservation and wellbeing.
Kusasa – Meaning “tomorrow” in Ndebele because the rhino represent a bright future for village children and grandchildren.
Maweja – Maweja is the name of the first man to stay in the place that is currently our rhino sanctuary in 1902.
Silwane – Meaning “lion” in Ndebele, is the totem of the Ncube family, a very important family in the area and because the hope that the rhino will someday be as common as the lion in this area.
Find out more about our panel:
Mandlakazulu Khumalo, 41 years, Chief of Matupula Communal lands
M Khumalo grew up in Matupula, under the able guardianship of the late Chief Nejah Matupula Khumalo and Analiah Khumalo, with his chieftaincy being passed down from his grandfather. After his schooling he studied to be a quantity surveyor until 2012 when he assumed the role of Chief Matupula. This role thrust him into the forefront of pioneering wildlife and nature conservation initiatives as his area borders Hwange National park. This simultaneously gives him the benefit of interacting with wildlife, but also means he very much sees himself and his fellow community members as gatekeepers and protectors of these same resources
Lesley Mlevu, 89 years, Mlevu Ward Headman
L Mlevu was born in Tsholotsho and has worked as a storekeeper, owning and managing a shop in Mlevu village. His role as Ward Headman is important and he is of great inspiration to the people and his family. L Mlevu’s close relationship to nature has always been obvious and he passes on his appreciation of wildlife, with two of his grandchildren being Imvelo guides! He sees the rhino as important to attracting people to the area, generating more funds for the communities and helping educate children of the next generations.
Jacob Mdlongwa, 80 years, Vukuzenzele Village Head
J Mdlongwa was born and has always lived in Zikwakwene, a few kilometres from Hwange National Park. He worked in the veterinary services in Ngamo and has always had an appreciation for wildlife. He is very happy the rhino will soon be back in the area, especially so that his children can know them and grow to take care of them. J Mdlongwa thinks the area will see many changes with the rhino’s arrival, and great benefits to the people. He is confident that the rhino will be in good hands with the Cobras Communitiy Wildlife Protection Unit providing security, protection and support to the communities.
Andrew Ncube, 68 years, Thokozani Village Head
A Ncube was born and bred in Ziga village. Previously he worked for the National Railways of Zimbabwe and has since then been the village headman and a susbsistence farmer. He leads the local people to work towards greater livelihoods and wellbeings. A Ncube is looking forward to the rhino and to allowing his children and grandchildren to go to Ngamo to see these magnificient creatures and learn more about them. He remembers he once saw a white rhino in 1995 on the plains and knows their return will improve wellbeings, employment and health in the area.
Cedric Moyo, 26 years, Cobra Sergeant Major
Cedic grew up in Ziga village, where he still lives today. He trained in South Africa and at Malilangwe prior to passing Imvelo’s first Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit selection course in 2018 and very quickly becoming a natural leader and inspiration for some of the other scouts. He joined to Cobras to protect the flora and fauna in the area and work with wildlife rather than against it. Cedric is particularly looking forward to having rhino, as a way of introducing a protected specie into the communities and allowing the local next generation to actually grow up knowing and respecting rhino.