POPOF celebrated the three consecutive promotions of obtaining state diplomas by its pupils who study the agroforestry at our Anga complex school. On the 22nd of October, POPOF’s staff invited several authorities including the KBNP’s Director Mr. Radar Nishuli to attend the ceremony at Miti, 7 km from the KBNP’s head quarters. All the pupils of the three promotions of 2009, 2010 and 2011 were all invited and so were seven school directors of the neighboring schools .POPOF prepared foods and drinks to share with the invitees. At 01h00 p.m., the ceremony began. Mr. Arsene K. Maheshe the POPOF’s Coordinator of works played the role of the moderator.
Mr. Nyaluhaze Valentin, the secondary school headmaster began with his speech out of which he narrated the background of the school from the beginning to the present including the difficulties that we encountered along the way.
POPOF’s agro forestry school alumni of the three promotions made recital poems about culture, necessity of tree planting, fishing, bee keeping, poaching etc. The invitees were so proud of this and some of them wept for happiness.Mrs. Maombi Bahaya Justine, the wife of a park ranger Mulonda Mutoka, mother of 7 children who left everything to inscribe in the 3rd grade agro-forestry in Anga School spent so many years walking up and down 5 km every day between the school and Tshivanga, the KBNP’s headquarters. She finally obtained the diploma in 2009. Mrs. Justine was applauded by the public and was introduced as a real enlightening example for other adult women to go back to school. She now would like to go to university, as she would work for the park within few years after getting a degree.
Then came the speech of myself as the Managing Director and Founder of POPOF. I explained about the historical role of POPOF vis-a-vis the KBNP, the area and the whole environment in the future. “Our generation will pass away but we have planted an important seed in the future generation for the benefit of all humanity”.
A speech of the KBNP’s director was so much waited by the attendees. Mr. Radar Nishuli, my childhood colleague with whom we fought hard for the benefit of the KBNP’s gorillas since 1983. Radar had no other secret to hide rather blowing and showing his emotion of excitement regarding POPOF and the schools. He said “If the KBNP shall have new leaders like John Kahekwa, this World Heritage Site would not suffer so much” Then he added, “Mr. John Kahekwa, it is said by every one that there is no prophets in their own countries but I emphasize you are our prophet for us and a real teacher for us”. He continued, ” I have nothing to offer you but please receive this medal of merit of the ecology for the contribution of the protection of the Gorilla graueri and its habitat”.He then put the medal around my neck in front of the audience who applauded both him and me. Interviews by local medias began with every one of us. The ceremony continued until 05h00 p.m.
It was really an amazing day for all of the participants especially the POPOF staff!!