We are committed to defining and refining Africa’s agendas for conservation and development, and to representing these voices – trumpet them loud and clear – around the world
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 29, 2021 / APO Group / –
The Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition kicked off with the announcement of the grand prize winner and 16 category winners. The global competition received nearly 9,000 entries from 50 countries around the world, including 10 countries in Africa
African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) (www.AWF.org) kicked off its 60th anniversary tonight with a colorful reception and awards ceremony celebrating decades of AWF conservation work on the continent as well as as the winners of the inaugural Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards. , named in honor of the former President of Tanzania.
Sixteen award-winning photographers from around the world attended the ceremony at the Nairobi National Museum. They received honorary certificates and awards for their photographs and videos in the global competition which received nearly 9,000 entries from 50 countries around the world, including 10 countries here in Africa.
Grand Prize winner Riccardo Marchegiani from Italy received a cash prize of US $ 5,000 (KES 555,476) and a large elephant sculpture Shona for his “Gelada and Baby” photo taken in the national park from the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia. Additionally, Marchegiani will be featured with an interview and portfolio in Nature’s Best Photography magazine, as well as an article in a special edition dedicated to the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards.
Speaking as he received his award, Marchegiani said, “It gives me great pleasure to accept this award which is a true testament to the hard work and dedication that has been put into it over the years. I believe the art form of photography expresses my vision and sensitivity to the beauty of nature. My goal is to raise awareness and encourage conservation in a more sustainable way of life.
The other category winners each received a cash prize of US $ 1,000 (KES 111,095) and a Shona elephant sculpture. They will also be featured in the special edition of Nature’s Best Photography. Categories and category winners include:
Coexistence and Conflict Category Winner: James Lewin from Kenya for “Elephant Orphans from Reteti Elephant Sanctuary” at Painted Rock in Samburu, Kenya Conservation Heroes Category Winner: Jen Guyton from Germany for “Veterinarian with Rescued Pangolin”, Winner of Mozambique Wildlife at Risk category: Ingrid Vekemans from Belgium for “White Rhinoceros Battle”, Solio Game Reserve, Kenya Winner of the Fragile Wilderness category: Anette Mossbacher from Switzerland for “Ruacana Falls, Namibia” Winner of the African Wildlife Behavior category: Buddhilini of Soyza from Australia for “Cheetahs Swimming across Talek River, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Winner of Africa in Motion category: Olli Teirilla from Finland for his video,“ Magical Maasai Mara ”, Winner of the African Wildlife Backyards category : Javier Lobon-Rovira from Spain for “Farmer with Green Frog in His Hands”, Anja Community, Madagascar Winner of the African category Wildlife Portraits: Kevin Dooley from USA for “African Savanna Ele phant”, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa Winner of the Art in Nature category: Paul McKenzie from Hong Kong for “Galaxy – Lesser Flamingoes”, Lake Natron, Tanzania Winner in the Youth International category: Zander Gallie from the United States for “Mountain Gorilla”, Volcanoes National Park, winner in the Rwanda Youth in Africa category: Cathan Moore from South Africa for “Wildebeest”, Timbavati Nature Reserve, Africa South
Speaking at the celebration, AWF CEO Kaddu Sebunya said, “In the context of a rapidly changing Africa with 60 years of experience, AWF has renewed its vision and developed strategic approaches to becoming a truly global African conservation organization. Through the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards, AWF is committed to finding, helping and amplifying authentic African voices who advocate against the destruction of the natural heritage of African wildlife. We are committed to defining and refining Africa’s conservation and development agendas, and to representing these voices – trumpet them loud and clear – around the world.
The inaugural photography competition was launched earlier this year to honor former Tanzanian President HE the late Benjamin Mkapa as an iconic conservation leader and one of AWF’s longest-serving board members. . With the aim of engaging new audiences in documenting wildlife and wildland conservation in modern Africa, the primary objective of the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards is to engage and involve photographers from Africa. and from around the world at all skill levels to share stories from the field that inspire and encourage new conservation advocates.
The Awards Ceremony Guest of Honor Cabinet Secretary for Wildlife and Tourism Kenya the Hon. Najib Balala said, “With initiatives such as the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards, organizations such as AWF and Nature’s Best Photography are actively encouraging domestic and international tourists to visit these unique landscapes and tell authentic stories that highlight focus on the magic behind Africa’s rich biodiversity. hotspots and its inhabitants.
The growing need to hear more African voices from all disciplines speaking on behalf of wildlife and wild lands on the global stage has been identified, and I am encouraged to see several young conservation champions emerging from within. These young voices are actively proposing practical solutions adapted to technological advances, and we must not rule them out at all. “
This collection of 79 winning images will be on display at the Nairobi National Museum until mid-January 2022 with the aim of capitalizing and engaging the Kenyan public and visitors from around the world. The collection will also be featured in a special edition of Nature’s Best Photography magazine and will be featured in a one-year traveling exhibition across Africa, North America, Asia and Europe as AWF celebrates 60 years of visionary conservation leadership.
AWF Kenya Country Director Nancy Githaiga said: “Our 60 years of conservation has shown us what success can look like. We have seen the continent go through the worst poaching crisis of our life and come out bruised but still fighting. Conservation interventions have brought key wildlife species back to the brink of extinction, including the black rhino and elephant, and have helped raise awareness of struggling species such as the giraffe which is often overlooked but disappearing under our eyes. eyes.
We look forward to achieving greater prosperity through strategic partnerships with government and other stakeholders to further support our new 10-year strategy.
Through this annual competition, AWF is committed to strengthening the participation of African photographers through targeted promotion and capacity building – an important part of our African Conservation Voices initiative.
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