ML: Who did you tell first?
HN: My sister. She was also really excited.
ML: What is it about being a ranger that excites you the most?
HN: To be with the animals, as I said at the start, I really like animals, so I will enjoy being in the bush.
ML: You are one of the fittest guys here. How important is it for you to be in good shape?
HN: Being fit enables you to live a lot longer. For the job of a ranger, you need to be fit. If you meet one of the Big Five, you can quickly find yourself in a dangerous situation. You don’t know how they are going to react to you, so that is one of the challenges. The other challenge is the poachers.
ML: What is the perception or understanding you have of poachers?
HN: I don’t really understand poachers because what they are doing is illegal. They are destroying nature for future generations.
ML: Are you nervous or scared about becoming a ranger?
HN: No, I am prepared to protect the animals, to die for something, rather than die for nothing.
ML: What advice would you give to a young person interested in following your path to be a ranger?
HN: I would advise them to do exercise every day because being a ranger takes a lot out of you and you must be really fit. You must also be patient and not give up easily.
ML: Your CV is very impressive. How important is education for you?
HN: Education makes us better people and we learn a lot at school. It is much easier to get a job when you are educated. Today every company wants you to have a certificate.
ML: What are you most excited about for your future?
HN: I think improving the situation at home since we lost our mom. I live with my brother and sister. My sister was working on a game reserve and because of coronavirus, she was suspended and sent home. This situation is hurting us so I am very happy because now I am going to be able to provide for the family.
ML: What has the training been like at the South African Wildlife College?
HN: I am learning a lot about the trees and the birds and their scientific names, as well as the behavior of the birds. I love learning about the bush and the animals that live there.
ML: Is there anything else you would like to add?
HN: I want to thank GCC for the opportunity to be here and sponsor us.