Go well Mr Gapa - dedicated anti-poaching driver
In the early hours of the morning on Saturday 29th June 2019, The Zambezi Society lost a dedicated member of its team. Mr Funny Gapa - our anti-poaching driver of 3 years - passed away in Chinoyi Hospital soon after admission in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Zambezi Society is shocked and saddened at his unexpected passing.
Mr Gapa joined the Zambezi Society in 2016, and was pivotal in establishing the Zambezi’s Society’s first anti-poaching ranger deployment vehicle in Mana Pools National Park at a time when there was an upsurge in poaching activity in the middle and lower Zambezi Valley. He carried a high level of responsibility, driving an average monthly mileage of 3000km, often in harsh terrain and weather conditions in the Zambezi Valley, deploying and uplifting anti-poaching ranger call-signs as well as being on hand for emergency reaction and casevac.
Zambezi Society Strategic Director, Richard Maasdorp, had the privilege of spending days out in the field with Funny Gapa while deploying Parks rangers in the remote wild and beautiful mountains of the Zambezi Escarpment. He describes him as a unique man who blended his keen sense of humour with his ability to communicate and work with people across the full spectrum of personalities and various management cultures that prevail in the Lower Zambezi.
“He was one of those few people that could allow a friendship to develop while never compromising the need for professionalism and personal responsibility. From his years of being a tracker and living in the bordering community he had an instinctive connection with the wilderness in which he spent much of his time. His dedication was such that on more than one occasion he worked for two days without sleep while assisting Park personnel with follow up operations. He would offer, before bring asked, to expend his work days into his time off when the situation on the ground. Back in his home area he was a respected leader in his church sect.”
I will miss those robust camp fire discussions on subjects ranging from love, respect, racism, living with poverty and the meaning of life - within earshot of a sky-full of stars.
Go well Funny. Thank you for your dedication and commitment in helping us to protect the wildlife of the Zambezi Valley.
Our most sincere condolences to his family, friends and fellow conservation work colleagues.