Godfrey Mwinga is one of GRI's Security Guards, based at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery. He has been working for the organisation for close to 3 years. His responsibilities involve taking patrols around facility to make sure that the entire camp is safe and intact; preparing the reception for visitors; filling the water tank and Boma pool and manning the Gift Shop. He wakes up at 5.40am and cycles 45 minutes to the Nursery each morning! When on Night Duty, Godfrey starts work at 5pm, and stays on shift until 6am.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I enjoy welcoming visitors when they come in at 11.30 to view the orphaned elephants. I enjoy it because I get to talk to different kinds of people from all around the world.
Who is your favoUrite orphaned elephant?
My favoUrite Orphaned elephant is Lufutuko (Tuko), because she was rescued at a very young age and survived.
How does it affect you when there is a new rescue?
A security officer has a big job when a new rescue arrives; he must keep the keepers awake during the night so he himself is not allowed to have a little rest, he must stay up all night for the sake of the new rescue. We usually just help in any way we can, to ensure the new rescue is okay, for example when Mulisani was rescued we all had to carry him to the stables because he could not walk.
How does it affect you when an elephant is transferred from the Lilayi Elephant Nursery to the Kafue Release Facility?
It's sad to see them move on, but mostly is pleasing, because then you are happy they made it there and they did not die.
How do you feel about poaching?
When I hear a story about poachers and how they kill animals, it makes me very sad, because I don’t understand how some one can kill something that has life in it. When I was a kid I stayed in the Gwembe area of Zambia. People used to kill a lot of animals because there were plenty, and no one understood the importance of conserving wildlife, but now people are being educated and are starting to understand.
What would your advice be to people that distort the natural environment?
Would advise them to find more environmentally friendly jobs.