Sekai was founded in 1997 by Gareth Patterson and Merafe Ramono. Sekai is dedicated to the renaissance of African environmental beliefs and values. Sekai promotes the understanding of the importance of indigenous African environmentalism, and the importance of restoring the balance between humankind and nature. Sekai aims to influence southern African governments to embrace the age - old, indigenous environmental culture of our ancestors.
In October 2013, after rediscovering and studying the world's most southerly elephants, and then writing his autobiography, Gareth decided that it was important to re-launch Sekai. He felt that it's principles and objectives has more relevance today, than ever before.
Sekai projects :
Undertook survey of the extent of range and movement corridors of Tuli elephants in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Report, Exploration into the existence of cross-border elephant movement corridors - Tuli Elephant Population. Investigated and exposed the capture and the abuse in captivity, of thirty baby Tuli elephants. Investigated and exposed the canned lion industry in South Africa. Books, Dying to be Free - the canned lion scandal, Making a Killing - South Africa's canned lion scandal.
Sekai co-founders, Gareth and Merafe, invited to participate in the Pan-African Conservation Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. Merafe delivers a paper on African Environmentalism.Gareth and Merafe invited to participate in the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) pre - CITES conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss the African elephants status, and the success of its Appendix 1 listing.
Important Quotes About African Environmentalism.
I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself...I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wilderness. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.
We were taught by ancient Africans that we are a part of God (as a little pebble is part of a great mountain), and because of this, we should beware of doing anything against the teaching and nature of God....We did not regard ourselves as superior to the animals, the trees and the fishes and the birds. We regarded ourselves as part of all these living things...We believed that human beings could not exist without animals, birds and fishes, or the greenery that whispers all around us...We believed that we had nature within and beyond ourselves.
All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet. It must be this voice that is telling me to do something, and I am sure it’s the same voice that is speaking to everybody on this planet – at least everybody who seems to be concerned about the fate of the world, the fate of this planet.
Finding solutions to global warming problems like late rains, dry rivers and depleting supplies of natural resources does not just mean we have to undertake glitzy conferences and 21 agenda points in Africa’s conference halls. It can be simpler. It must be. We need more players in Africa’s environmental games – scientists and researchers, writers, philosophers - who live by the heart, relate to land and who can articulate with assertiveness. The triumph will be in claiming an African space in the new environmental movement that puts down a chapter in environmental history that is lived, written and owned by us.
African Environmentalism, rise up! by Janice Golding
The problems and crises currently afflicting the conservation and management of Africa's natural resources are primarily the symptoms of the deep-rooted, long-term effects of centuries of colonial domination. Disruptive, materialistic foreign customs have resulted in the disintegration of richly endowed, indigenous systems of natural resource utilization, conservation and management enshrined in the multiplicity of Africa's ethnic nationalities. These complex relationships with nature, founded in diverse religious beliefs, taboos, myths and totems, were responsible for the maintenance of Africa's diverse and abundant biological resources for millennia.
Western colonial cultures introduced into Africa the practice of hunting of wild game to satisfy an exotic lust for ivory, luxury goods and other non-essential psychosocial desires. At the commencement of political independence in the 1950s and 60s, most African countries had lost their best ivory, their finest tropical timber and vast quantities of wildlife species to colonial plunderers from Europe.
An African Perspective on Environment and Development. by Achoka Awori.
Perhaps it is time for environmentalists to start accepting traditional cannons of reason. If certain species of animals are seen as equal to human beings and even ''God'', then man sees nothing more valued than that animal and therefore has no right to destroy ''God''. Is it not time we recovered a sense of this mystic reverence for conservation?
To live in Africa we must have an understanding of things African; we must lose our western arrogance and seek an African perspective on the natural world. I am not referring to the westernized African attitude. I am talking about pre-colonial African environmentalism.
San rock art. European settler shooting African wildlife.
(credit P.M. Bass)