After leaving school early due to circumstances at home and then trying to find his feet, Excellent Mbuso Mhangane, known to many at the Southern African Wildlife College as Mbuso, always felt he was capable of more. A true jack of all trades, he had tried his hand at various things from carpentry, windscreen fitting, retailing, and trucking to being a supervisor, stock controller, general worker, and security guard. While he only did it as a last resort, the latter is what eventually led him back home to Welverdiend when he applied for a position as a Security Guard at the College in 2018.
One day, the sun would further shine on him after Sboniso Phakathi, one of the College’s Project Managers, drove through the entrance gate and saw him with a host of study materials which he enquired about. While at the College, Mbuso had taken an interest in the projects being implemented by the College, particularly the Field Ranger training which ignited his passion to become a field ranger. While he could not afford to pay for the course, he did not let that keep him from his newfound passion. He would read books on wildlife during his breaks while working at the gate. Sboniso took note of this and after some internal discussions at the management level, Mbuso was given the chance he had been looking for, a sponsorship to do the Basic Armed Field Ranger Training Programme.
After completing the programme, with tenacity, determination and commitment on his part, he was given the opportunity to co-instruct a field ranger training course under the guidance of Sergeant Walker. Despite all the negative thoughts that crept in, he persevered and succeeded in making a further impression that would see him get more opportunities to co-instruct and eventually independently lead the training of the course.
His ability to speak eight (8) of the eleven (11) languages spoken in South Africa has made him an asset to the department, which receives students from all over the country and beyond. To date, Mbuso has successfully conducted seven (7) Field Ranger training courses. He loves being a Field Ranger Instructor. Not just because he gets to influence the lives of the students he trains but also because he gets to learn from every student that he interacts with. It is wonderful to see how the College has been able to assist and further help shape the life of one of its employees. Mbuso is proud of all that he has done so far and he is looking forward to achieving more and leaving behind a lasting legacy for generations to come.