Selmor appointed Big Five Ambassador

HARARE - Award-winning music star Selmor Mtukudzi is set to lead an awareness campaign on elephant conservation after her appointment as Big Five Ambassador by the Environment ministry.

Selmor will be supported by Thembani Mubochwa, a fashion designer of the “Elephant Dress” fame, in this drive. They will start the campaign in January next year.

She was over the moon over the appointment.

“It is an honour for me to be appointed the ambassador of the Big Five. I am so excited to be starting my duties and I cannot wait to give our wildlife a much-needed face-lift which I believe the Afro Jumbo Trust will provide with the help of the ministries of Environment, Education and Rural Development,” she said.

Mubochwa is director of Afro Jumbo Trust and has been appointed the Elephant Ambassador.

In a speech read on her behalf, Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the two will embark on a national drive targeting schools.

“The objective of the tour is to educate school children on conservation matters while increasing their knowledge of different animals around them, particularly the Big Five.

“Elephant fact sheets will be distributed to schools, designed in a fun and informative poster giving children a summary of information they need to know about elephants.”

They will also work on a documentary which will include several African musicians.

“There will be a National School’s Elephant Day which will cap off the tour. A short documentary will be shown highlighting issues taught during the tour. In this video will be the Elephant Song, composed by Selmor collaborating with several artistes from the continent.

“These include Salma from Zambia, Lizha James from Mozambique, Bholojah from Swaziland, Blakk Rasta from Ghana and Will Paul from Kenya. The song will be produced by South African music icon Steve Dyer. The song will be officially launched in Zimbabwe and all artistes involved will be present,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said.

According to a recent report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature group, Zimbabwe’s elephant population had declined by 9 000 amid a surge in poaching.

The report put Africa’s total elephant population at around 415 000, a decline of around 111 000 over the past decade.

Focusing on Zimbabwe, the African Elephant Status Report said the country has remained stable with an estimated population of about 82 630.

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