Being bush-wise and beautiful
Queen Manyike is not your average young woman. While the normal attractions of shopping and family are part of her world, she loves nothing better than being in the bush and inspiring others to understand and respect our glorious Lowveld diversity.
Get it catches up with this Hoedspruit resident to find out a little more about her.
Where were you born?
I was born and raised in Mpumalanga, in the small village of Tintswallo in Acornhoek.
Where did you attend school?
I attended Funjwa Primary, Ndabeni Higher Primary and Magwagwaza Secondary School.
Tell us about your childhood.
I was raised to always have respect and be humble. I was a very cool and collected child and I loved drawing pictures of animals. I’m still the same kind of person.
What did you study and where?
I studied policing at New Learning Vision Academy College in 2013, then in 2015 I completed an environmental education course at the Timbavati Foundation Education School. In 2016 I studied Community Development and Youth Access and Sustainable Use & Field Guiding at the Southern Africa Wildlife College. I am now completing the 50-week FGASA Professional Field Guide Course at Bushwise.
What made you decide to go into this particular field?
I love nature and working with people. So being something like a bush guide is the best of both!
What advice would you offer to anyone aspiring to make it in this field?
You must have a passion for nature, be able to work with people, be tolerant and a hard worker.
It is so important to teach people the value of nature and wildlife, including snakes, spiders and so on. How difficult is it to bring this message across and how do you manage it?
It isn’t that difficult to teach people about the value of nature and wildlife if you work in the right environment. The right place is key. This goes a long way towards conveying the message to people in different places. A lot also depends on which resources are available.
What do you love most about your work?
I love being out in the bush and being able to experience different things each day.
Walk us through a typical day in your life.
When I’m at home I will either be doing chores, watching TV, shopping, studying or reading. When I’m working it’s all about safari drives, my studies, and resting whenever I get the chance to do so.
What are you passionate about, what inspires you?
I am and will forever be passionate about nature, and seeing other people fighting to protect it really inspires and motivates me. Nature is calming, provides beauty and serenity, as well as being the source of life. When you are out in the bush, you don’t need to worry about what you look like, or what someone thinks of you, but rather you pay attention to your surroundings and whatever it is you are busy doing.
What do you still want to achieve – where do you see yourself in five, 10 years’ time?
Acquiring a degree in nature conservation is something I still plan on achieving, and in five or 10 years’ time, I see myself owning a lodge or environmental education centre.
What makes you happy?
Definitely my family.
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Exercise! I also love taking long, relaxed walks alone, or having some me time by doing some shopping.
What do you love most about the Lowveld?
The beauty, as well as the incredible biodiversity, is what I love most about it.
What is your favourite place in the region, and why?
Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve has to be my ultimate favourite because it is so beautifully alluring.
November 2018The November 2018 edition of Get It Lowveld is online now!