Today we celebrate a very special lady’s birthday – Lulu Komani(left side of image). Lulu, who has been working for Wilderness Foundation Africa for 14 years is the Youth Development Receptionist located at the Tramways Building. Today we want to show our appreciation towards Lulu as she always welcomes people with a smile and thought we would share some of her story with you.
Tell us about your journey with Wilderness Foundation Africa
“I am from a small town called Paterson. I lived on a farm and felt very isolated living there. I heard many stories about this beautiful place called Port Elizabeth and I wanted to explore life. It was very difficult for a person like me to move and follow my dreams. I was scared and I didn’t know where to start but I decided I will go for it, as I wanted change not only for myself but for the next generation of my family. I didn’t want my cousins growing up like me, isolated in Paterson. I wanted them to be able to know they could come visit me in Port Elizabeth and that there was more to life outside of Paterson. I wanted to become more independent and explore life. I trusted that if God made plans for me, I would move.
My passion for conservation started in my first job at Shamwari, where I worked with vet, Johan. Johan was always willing to teach me everything and from this my passion for animals and nature grew. Through Shamwari, I heard about Wilderness Foundation Africa and since then have been working at Wilderness Foundation Africa for 14 years now.
To work at Wilderness Foundation Africa, has been a great opportunity and I have learnt so much. I was also given the opportunity to be able to finish my matric year and am very grateful for that.”
What challenges have you faced?
“My life has not been an easy one. One of my biggest weaknesses was that I allowed myself to put other people first, forgetting about myself. I realised that I need to follow my dreams and decided to go study as a computer clerk.”
What do you love about your job now?
“I love working for the Youth Development Centre as I have a passion for people and I love helping and trying to fix things.
The success stories of the Youth are very inspiring and I am happy to know that I am working for a programme that is taking disadvantaged youth and giving them new hope to life. We are helping to change lives!
I have students come in and tell me, “Starting from today, My life has changed. I know I can be a better person.”
Some parents come into the Youth Development Centre and say to me that they don’t know where to start but all they know is that they want a better life for their child and I am so happy that we can be the difference in someone else’s life.”
What are your aspirations for the future?
I have always had a passion for both Information Technology and Conservation and would really like to study further as a Conservationist.
I want to teach people about the beauty of nature as many people don’t understand the importance of protecting the environment. They litter and don’t realise that it is a cycle that will affect humans.
I have seen people and animals get sick because of pollution and they don’t understand the effects of pollution.
I want to tell people around me how beautiful our area can be.