This year’s competition features not only an all-woman judging panel, we have also included a top Zimbabwean conservationist to ensure a truly diverse set of skills. We are delighted to introduce you to Africa in Focus judge, Dr Moreangels Mbizah …
Dr Moreangels Mbizah is a conservation biologist working at the intersection of conservation and community development. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation Action, an organisation focusing on building the capacity of local communities to protect and co-exist with wildlife, while improving their livelihoods.
Moreangels has extensive knowledge and experience in community-based conservation. Her work is currently focused on finding and applying innovative ways to promote human-wildlife cohabitation, and socio-economic development of communities living adjacent to wildlife areas.
Moreangels received her Doctoral Degree in Zoology from the University of Oxford, where she studied lions in Hwange National Park. In 2018, her work on lions was featured in a National Geographic short film One Woman’s Remarkable Journey to Protect Lions. In 2019 Moreangels was awarded a TED Fellowship and gave a TED talk on How community-led conservation can save wildlife. Moreangels is also a Mandela Washington Fellow, and is passionate about inspiring and mentoring Africa’s next generation of conservation leaders.
Do you think photography can play an important role in conserving the wildlife of Africa? And how?
Photography has a way of capturing the beauty that words alone cannot describe. It can be a powerful storytelling tool that can be used to showcase and bring awareness to the beauty of our wildlife and landscapes, and the connections that local people have with their land and their wildlife. Photography can help get a conservation message across in a way that can be easily absorbed by the general public, and bring awareness to threatened species and habitats, and help bring about change that’s needed.
We all have some photos that have inspired us or made us feel emotional about Africa. Do you have one?
I love an African sunset and every photo that captures it makes me feel that connection with my motherland. I have several wonderful sunset photos I have taken over the years.
What is your favourite place in Zimbabwe? Why?
Hwange National Park is my favourite place in Zimbabwe. I had an amazing experiencing while doing my PhD on lions, and it holds so many beautiful memories that I will forever treasure. Hwange will always be home, and every time I go back there I feel like I have come back home.
What is your most desired destination to visit in Africa?
I would love to visit Morocco. I just feel like it will be a special place for me, I think I will fall in love with the rich culture and the beautiful architecture.