Good day Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to this monumental event!
My name is Danene van der Westhuyzen, president of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association and it is a great honour for me to introduce you to the culmination of what we as hunters have achieved and envisioned for the past two years.
The HUAP Trust (Hunters United against Poaching) was founded by our big game committee two years ago. This trust was set in motion because of hunters who operate in the Zambezi region and who are witnesses and have first-hand experiences to the onslaught of what we treasure so very dearly, our Namibian wildlife. These horrendous activities drove them to absolute dedication in the protection of our Namibian treasures with one vision in mind; to save our Namibian Wildlife.
Today, two of Namibia’s most treasured assets – our marble, and our rhino, are being bound together for eternity. It is an act of hope and vision and therefore depicts us as Namibians perfectly.
I want to sincerely thank Mr Jürgen Rumpf, a valuable NAPHA member, who went to great lengths in ensuring this project to get off the ground, as well as the HUAP Trustees and everyone behind the scenes who have worked very hard for this great cause.
From here on it falls into the hands of our fellow Namibian people to join us on the evening of the 31st of August where this marble treasure, sculpted by world-renowned artist Mr Gé Pellini, will be auctioned off and find a permanent home with someone who carries the same vision.
I would like to share a story about Mother Theresa which was forwarded to us by our colleagues from the Hospitality Industry.
There once was a protest march against war. The protesters asked Mother Theresa to join the march against war, which she declined. When asked why she doesn’t want to participate in such an event for a good cause, she replied, that she would willingly join any ‘march for peace’, but never ‘…against war’. Our words and actions carry an energy towards the things that occupy our minds most. I want to invite all Namibians to actively join us in this evening’s event and make a positive difference, and help save our rhino and our wildlife.
I will introduce Mr Pellini in a short while, but firstly I would like to introduce to you our Hon. Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism who will open this great proceeding. Ladies and Gentlemen, honourable minister Pohamba Shifeta.
(Mr Colgar Sikopo, Director of Parks and Wildlife, delivered speech instead of the Minister)
I would now like to introduce to you the Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs of the French Embassy in Namibia and the Director of the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Mr Patrick PORTES-GAGNOL.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Gé Pellini, born in France, is not just an animal sculptor, or a naturalist, but also one who analyses the quintessence of his subjects. His need for creating is obvious but the working drawing takes him quite a long and demanding time. Perfectionist and full of passion as he is, he sculpts in the finest marble, which is a heavy and an inconvenient material.
Mr Pellini is an artist who abides by the “less is more” principle and keeps on sustaining and purifying his artistic proceeding. His diverse variations on the theme of the horned animal sustain his current research and projects.
Thus, he deliberately enlarges the horn, draws more flexible lines and eliminates the details.
Mr Pellini is able to catch the very essence of things. He has once stated” “Technique can’t dominate art”, “to reach plainness one has to be right”.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you have all had the privilege to listen to one of Namibia’s popular artists, Elemotho.
Tired of the senseless slaughter of Africa’s rhinos, Elemotho recently contacted Save the Rhino Trust to find out how he could help end poachers’ assault on rhinos. Save the Rhino Trust responded that Elemotho could do what he does best—make music that inspires people.
So Elemotho collaborated with his band (Tayo, Kali, Piu and Samuel) and other Namibian artists like Oteya, Esme “Songbird,” and Meta to create an original song called “Stand Together,” which creatively merges the powerful forces of music and conservation into an emotional, strong and upbeat song dedicated to rhinos.
This spectacular song shines as a true labour of love that demonstrates Namibia’s commitment to protecting their wildlife.
Kambezunda Ngavee was born in 1991 in the town of Talismanis in Eastern Namibia. He was inspired at an early age by his father who was a skilled craftsperson, but who unfortunately passed away when Ngavee was still a very young boy. He later met an artist who came to his school to paint a mural, and who encouraged Ngavee to enrol at the College of the Arts to study visual art.
Ngavee is at present a third-year diploma student in the Department of Visual Art at the College of the Arts, specialising in stone sculpture. His inspiration for his third-year exhibition stems from his interest in the history of Namibia, and particularly from his identity as a Herero man.