FORMER ZBC TV news presenter Rumbidzai Takawira has found love in nature after she landed a top post at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is a global non-profit organisation helping animal and people co-exist and Rumbi, popularly known as Newsbae, is its regional conservation ambassador covering Africa.
Rumbie becomes the first to represent Africa at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and she says this will go a long way in telling the Zimbabwe wildlife story and find ways of funding the sector.
“I am very excited to be appointed to such a position and am going to use my influence to put Zimbabwe and the entire Africa on the global map,” she said.
“Many ask me, Rumbie, why don’t you read the news anymore? Well, I have found my true love: Nature! There is just so much to discover in Zimbabwe and Africa as a continent, and I’m willing to take you through it with International Fund for Animal Welfare.”
Rumbi has pledged to put Zimbabwe on the global map in protecting animal welfare and to date, the organisation has pledged US$4 million to help Zimbabwe’s tourism sector.
Rumbidzai is a firm believer that wildlife plays an important role in Zimbabwe’s tourism because of how much it draws people from other countries, to come experience the wildlife Zimbabwe possesses.
“So far our organisation has pledged USD4 000 000 to help the Zimbabwe tourism sector and so far USD 1 000 000 million has since been disbursed,” she added.
Zimbabwe is home to a very large herd of giant elephants, rhinos, pangolin and many more species, which attract visitors.
She insists that if communities benefit from the wildlife resources around them, then they will find themselves responsible for helping protect the wildlife. When they don’t benefit from it, they can actually participate in poaching and deplete the wildlife stocks.
From her experiences of going around wildlife reserves and communities, Rumbidzai says a lot of efforts are being made towards conserving wildlife. Of particular interest is the grassroots level approach to promote conservation.
Communities living near wildlife reserves have been assisted to create community initiatives where they protect wildlife from poaching, set up centers where they can showcase their wildlife heritage, and from the returns, their communities can benefit in various forms including road, schools, and clinic construction, as well as creation of employment for the locals.
Zimparks, CAMPFIRE and other NGOs have been working to educate communities living near wildlife to see it as a resource which they can use sustainably.
One of the best things to happen to a travel enthusiast is to have a job which takes them around places, and gives them an opportunity to travel. For Rumbidzai, her job has given her a great opportunity to experience the beauty of Zimbabwe, as she travels places to do her job.
Takawira joins other IFAW global ambassadors who included Dr Jane Goodall and renowned actors including Leonardo DiCaprio and Minka Kelly.
German-Austrian Formula E racing driver Maximilian Günther is also an IFAW ambassador.