Tribute Mboweni

Field Ranger, Dassen Island

Tribute Mboweni's entry into conservation
started with tears. She had to cry to convince
administrators at the Tshwane university of
Technology to register her for an ecotourism
management course.
But the passionate environmentalist, who is now
stationed on Dassen Island as a fi eld ranger, does not
regret her outburst in the least and proved herself
during her undergraduate studies, winning the prize
for best wildlife guide.
Her workplace on Dassen Island is not open to
the public, primarily to protect the seabird and
shorebird species that breed and roost there. She
handles everything from biodiversity monitoring,
to supervising visitors and ensuring environmental
law compliance.
Mboweni participated in the making of an 8-mm
fi lm documentary, Working with Nature, on South
Africa's biodiversity and the people who care for
it and is chairperson and one of the two founder
members of Projekt 23 � The Green Movement,
which uplifts poor communities by greening their
neighbourhoods. The project caught the eye of
pharmaceutical giant Bayer, which chose Mboweni
to represent South Africa at the 2009 Bayer Young
Environmental Envoys fi eld trip in Germany at the
end of last year.
In February this year, she was selected to represent
South Africa as minister of environment at the G8/
G20 Youth Summit in Vancouver, Canada.
�Yolandi Groenewald

Lunch spot: Homemade sandwiches, overlooking the lighthouse, Dassen Island