“One morning in 2016, I was with my colleague, Emma, on our way to a farm to check camera traps that we had placed at a cheetah marking tree. As we walked towards the cheetah marking tree, I saw something lying under a tree not far us. I was about to ask Emma if she could see it, when the animal lifted its head up and I realised it was a cheetah. Not only one, but two of them, lying there in the shade of the tree. When they saw us, they quickly fled the scene, as only cheetahs can do best. The greatest thing was that the two cheetahs were Clyde and Leigh — a coalition of two males which we saw regularly on our camera traps and whom we had collared two years prior. It was at that moment that I started believing that these animals really existed in these farms, surrounded by so much livestock and so many people.
My happiest moment at CCB was when I was giving out prizes to students for an essay writing competition CCB had organized for primary school students in the Ghanzi district. It was in November 2018 — a week before the schools closed. I was already happy with my previous encounters with the other winners that I had handed prizes to in the days before. It had already left a good impression with me and I was feeling happy and was looking forward to meeting that last winner. Her name was Theo Gaditlhatlhelwe — a Grade 6 student from Kalkfontein Primary School. She was called to the staff room to come and get her prize, and from the moment she entered, I could see that she was very sharp and had an air of authority about her. When chatting with her about the prizes she had won, I found her to be very articulate, intelligent and confident. Her teachers also had nothing but praise for the young student. Then I learnt from her teachers that her mother was blind and that they were very close. I knew that the e-book reader I had just given her as a prize was exciting for her and this made her incredibly proud of her achievement. From that moment on, I started looking at my work through the eyes of the children that we worked with. Determined that no matter how seemingly insignificant, our work with those children had long-lasting impacts that no one could erase.