MORE than 15 people braved the chilly weather yesterday to join Samuel Nkomo on part of his 500km Rhino Awareness Campaign Walk as he left the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo statue close to the Main Post Office in Bulawayo heading to Victoria Falls.
Nkomo, members of the Bulawayo National Parks, his family, Miss Earth Water, Lebo Mmakola, and the 15 took off from the statue with police escorts.
The award-winning professional guide started the walk from the Matopos National Park on September 14 and has walked 100km, which includes walking around the surrounding villages and Bulawayo suburbs.
Nkomo has engaged villagers and Bulawayo residents on issues of conservation. He has also visited various primary schools such as REPS, Milton Junior, Petra, Henry Low and Barham Green to show children wildlife videos and make presentations.
More than 400 schoolchildren, environmentalists and sponsors gathered for the World Rhino Day celebrations at Petra Primary School on Saturday. Games, competitions, art exhibitions, music, dance and rhino plays were the order of the day.
At the event, Nkomo invited people to join him for the big send-off from the iconic nationalist’s statue.
“I invite you all to come and support me as I take off. I have completed 100km and I still feel very strong and determined to complete the walk and I am hoping more people will chip in. I would like to thank every person who donated all the necessities for the walk,” Nkomo said.
Vice-chairperson of the walk Floyd Ambrose said preparations for the walk were successful and thanked participants, sponsors and various stakeholders for making it possible.
“All is set for the walk. We have earmarked 17 schools that Nkomo will make stopovers at along the way and we would like to appreciate the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Bulawayo City Council, Zimparks, Forestry
Commission and the Environmental Management Agency for assisting,” Ambrose said.
Nkomo is set to be received by government officials and supporters at the end of his walk in Victoria Falls on October 18.