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Xposure 2024 : Rifumo Mathebula, promoting conservation through photography

Rifumo Mathebula, program director for Wild Shots Outreach (WSO) in South Africa, innovates by using photography as a powerful tool to raise awareness and educate local communities about wildlife conservation. His passionate commitment and inspiring vision reflect an innovative approach to environmental education, aiming to restore the connection between residents and their natural environment.

Rifumo Mathebula, program director for Wild Shots Outreach (WSO) in South Africa, an organization founded by Mike Kendrick in 2015, which aims to raise awareness and educate disadvantaged local communities surrounded by wildlife protected areas.

Mike Kendrick, originally from the United Kingdom, launched the program after observing that local communities in South Africa had little interaction with wildlife. It is in this context that the WSO program was born, with the aim of restoring the connection between local residents and wildlife, while highlighting the benefits of conservation for communities.

To achieve this goal, Rifumo Mathebula and his team chose to use photography as a powerful educational tool. « We use photography as a means of connecting people and communities to wildlife. With a simple photo, we can tell a thousand stories, » he explains. By teaching conservation through photography, Mathebula aims to awaken the interest of local communities in their natural environment and give them a new perspective on their role in its preservation.

Before becoming program director, Rifumo Mathebula himself benefited from the WSO program in 2016. « At the time, Mike was in charge of the program. After completing my program in 2016, I encouraged Mike to allow me to contribute to the program, » he recalls. His commitment and dedication were quickly recognized, and he was appointed program director, continuing to inspire and motivate local communities through conservation education.

Thanks to Mathebula’s innovative approach, Wild Shots Outreach offers a fresh perspective on wildlife conservation in South Africa, connecting people to their natural environment and encouraging active engagement in its preservation.

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