What Can I Do?

Looking through all the posts, emails, tweets and comments that I get on my various pages and groups, I am struck by some of the comments made by viewers, members and FB friends and followers.

Take, for example, an horrific image of a poached rhino, or an image of one of the wildlife vets, crouched next to a poached rhino, sobbing at the loss of another animal to the ravages of poaching.

SA rhino poaching at record high



See the picture of the magnificent Satao, cut down just over a year ago, to steal his tusks to manufacture trinkets and chopsticks.


Or … read about the sterling work the dedicated rangers are doing on the ground, in dangerous circumstances, to protect our heritage of iconic animals in Africa.

And then come the comments:

“It must stop”

“How can this go on?”

“This is despicable, and must stop now”

“Kill the poachers”

“This makes me sick to my stomach”

Well …… this makes me sick too. But I am doing something about it in my own small way.

What are you doing?

I’ll answer that for you ……. Most of the people who make these comments do absolutely nothing!

Thinking that a sympathetic or angry comment will make a difference is totally incorrect, it doesn’t help in the slightest.


Words don’t matter.

Action does.

Do you know the biggest danger to our wildlife?


Sitting back, thinking that “Hey I support you – see my comment” will have any effect at all, is apathetic.

These same people then go on to proudly post to the world at large that they spent a large amount of money getting false nails, or truly wonderful hair extensions, or how much fun they all had going to a family restaurant and spending a fortune on poorly presented burgers and chips.

I appreciate the fact that wives and girlfriends really enjoy making themselves look beautiful, just as I appreciate that a fun time at a restaurant is also a good thing.

But, cut out one of these activities, once a month, and use the money saved to help our wildlife.

I know what you’re going to say ….

“How can a couple of hundred bucks help? These organisations need millions to do the job efficiently.”


But you’d be surprised at how rapidly the money accumulates from these relatively small donations.

For instance, I give a percentage of my book sales to a few organisations that I support. Over the few years that I have been doing this, even I was surprised at just how much had been raised for wildlife and rangers.

You CAN help.

To be blatantly self-promoting, you could buy one or two of my books, secure in the knowledge that, apart from an enjoyable read and a tangible benefit received in exchange for money, you are helping a lot to ensure the safety and survival of Africa’s most amazing wildlife.

You will be helping to ensure that your children’s children will be able to gaze in wonder at these magnificent animals in the bush, running free, rather than in the pages of some dusty old book.

You CAN help.

Please don’t let apathy be the reason our icons become extinct.

Please get in touch, I’d really enjoy hearing from you.





About msomiafrica

Author, photographer and conservationist who sincerely prefers interacting with animals rather than people.
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2 Responses to What Can I Do?

  1. Marilyn Cattell says:

    You can do all that and more, Brian, but still feel utterly helpless when you read 13 rhino were butchered over the weekend and the government concerned do nothing!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Here, here! I feel exactly the same way. The way I’ve been trying to combat the apathy is by giving people suggestions and showing them ways they can help. We’ve all been guilty of saturating them with terrible information and sad news, often without giving them any ideas on how they can prevent the horrors. Of course, even if you provide the info, it’s up to them to actually get off their butts to do something. You can lead a horse to water…

    At any rate, I think the more we can provide solutions, the more likely we can get people actively involved. Education is, to me, one of the best ways we can do that.

    Thanks for writing this post. People need to hear that clicking on a ‘Like’ button or whinging about something without doing anything about it does pretty nothing but waste space and time. None of us are helpless. We all have the power to make a positive difference, even if it’s a small one. A lot of small differences make mighty big ones. And I think we need to be reminded of that.

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