Uz Tackles Poaching Crisis Through Film

By Rebecca Kabaya

The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) recently premièred an African Wildlife Foundation film titled, “Sides of a Horn,” to raise awareness on the poaching crisis facing the Africa continent.

The short film, which was released worldwide, was written and directed by Toby Wosskow and had some critics describing it as “thought-provoking”.

It is in Zulu language with English subtitles is scheduled to air today at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) headquarters in Nairobi.

Shot in South African townships, the film explores the real issues behind illegal wildlife trade.

“The poaching crisis is a complex issue and the conversation around it must go beyond simple right and wrong. By painting an unbiased portrait of this modern war and exposing both sides of the struggle, it is my hope that Sides of a Horn will be a catalyst that inspires a greater discussion that can lead to positive change,” said Wosskow — who is also a council member of AWF.

AWF chief executive Kaddu Sebunya said that the film makes it abundantly clear that we need to put that much more effort towards protecting these iconic species and ensure that local communities can fully benefit from their wildlife and wild lands. “AWF has invested heavily in rhino conversation across the continent. Some of the projects that AWF has supported include rhino sanctuaries in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

“In March last year, the remaining northern white rhino in the world died, leaving the sub -species facing extinction. Other sub-species are more numerous but are also critically endangered.

“By the latest count, only 5050 black rhinos exist in the wild today, down from a population of 65 000 in 1964. These numbers continue to decline every year,” said Sebunya.

Sides of a Horn is the first film to tell the story of Africa’s rhino poaching war from both sides of the fence — poverty stricken communities desperate to earn livelihoods and global poaching syndicates making millions from the illegal trade in wildlife products.

“The film shows the potential and power of digital media in raising awareness on conservation matters,” said Patience Gandiwa, an official of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

“We need to utilise the digital media more to create messages that promote wildlife conservation.”

Source : The Herald

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