The College of African Wildlife Management
I’m currently interning at the College of African Wildlife Management also referred to as Mweka College due to its proximity to Mweka. My official title is; “Communication and Marketing Officer”. I am currently writing a paper about the history of the College, because it is something that the College wanted as well as for promotional reasons. The paper includes multiple things such as; how the College came about, the initial teaching staff and principal, when the programs/short courses were introduced, the departments at the College (financial, procurement office, human resources, etc), listing all the staff at the College, talking about the establishment of the buildings and so forth. To say the least, this is keeping me very busy!
The College of African Wildlife Management is one, if not the most respected colleges for training wildlife managers and tour guides within Africa. It is located 14km from Moshi, on the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Moshi is famous for its delicious cheesecake and fresh coffee served at the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (Union Cafe).
For the past two months I have been living in a small town house in Moshi. Every morning throughout the week, I leave for the post office at around 6:50am. At 7:30am, a private school bus picks up numerous teachers and students to transported them to the College. I very much look forward to the drive as we pass numerous students heading to school and parents going to work. The town of Moshi is hustling and bustling by 7:30 am each morning! Once we exist Moshi, the road towards the College is surrounded by multiple acres of coffee beans. At this time, it never fails that the climate begins to change; fog and light rain appears and this makes the scenery incredibly beautiful. The fog creates a mystical atmosphere in the air. I really do love the ride up but this also rings true for the drive home as well! But on the way home, the fog and rain has usually disappeared and the sun is shining brightly. Sometimes, the clouds move just enough so that we can see the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is unbelievably beautiful.
The college primarily offers two types of programs. One in Wildlife Management where the main focus is getting to know different sorts of mammals, birds, plants, trees, etc. Interested individuals can either obtain:
A Technician Certificate in Wildlife Management
A Diploma in Wildlife Management
A Bachelor Degree in Wildlife Management
A Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management
The majority of the students are currently pursing a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management.
The other program has to do with Wildlife Tourism. Individuals who are interested in becoming tour guides at national parks would learn how to develop and plan appropriate outings. Interested students can obtain either:
A Technician Certificate in Wildlife Tourism Management
A Diploma in Wildlife Tourism Management
A Bachelor Degree in Wildlife Tourism Management
A Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Tourism Management
I am so fortunate tobe able to work at such a welcoming institution. All the staff and students that I interact with on a daily basis are so inviting and extremely friendly. One student in particular, has already left an impact on me even though I have only known her for a little more than a month.
Meet Sophie Augusta, a beautiful, kind, outgoing, determined and passionate young individual who will lead the next generationof Wildlife Managers within Tanzania. Sophie is currently pursuing her Diploma in Wildlife Management. She is set to graduate in September, and will hopefully return to the College in the spring to complete her Bachelors Degree in Wildlife Management.
Sophie is determined to succeed in life but she is also extremely passionate about helping other women succeed. She is currently in the process of establishing her own safari company, Matriarch Hills Safari, a company striving towards being the first all female employee company.
Sophie grew up in a village called Marangu. She is the second oldest in the family with five other siblings. After completing secondary school in Maragu, she had two options. One being getting married and the other is pursuing further education. She chose to pursue the latter. However, to be able to do this, she had to uproot herself from her family and move to Moshi (a one and half hour drive from Maragnu).
Sophie became intrigued at the idea of working with wildlife at an early age. She remembers seeing many tourists passing through her village on the way to their safaris, but was always a bit surprised to see the tour guide being white. From that point on, Sophie was inspired and determined to get the best possible education in wildlife management and to be able to show visitors around her country’s national parks.
At the age of 20, Sophie left her family and and friends behind to purse post-secondary education. With barely any funds to draw on, she first and foremost had to obtain employment. She was able to do so at a hotel company, working as a waitress and as a bar tender. Even thought the work is tedious and laborious, Sophie is extremely thankful that she was able to work there to pay for her college fees.
In 1963, when the College officially opened its doors, 25 students from five different nations within Africa enrolled. As most of you could have guessed, all 25 students were males. However, since then dozens of females have graduated from the College. As I look around campus today, twenty five percent of the population are females, which is really enlightening to see. Since its establishment, over 8,000 students have graduate from this college. The college is very proud to see many individuals like Sophie, pursuing education within the wildlife industry