Phumlile’s passion lies in recognising fearless activists working against all odds to protect the environment and acknowledging communities’ needs in natural resource use to eke out a living. Her most rewarding work is teaching the youth in communities to recognise their crucial role in the development and growth of their country and encouraging them to use their voices for good. Phumlile’s journey in the environmental sector started with a degree in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Her job as a socio-economic transformation officer at SANParks has given her the practical exposure to conservation challenges and opportunities that are present in the sector. She realises that it is vital to grow together, alongside our communities, and help create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods by empowering people with skills for self-sufficiency. “Things remain the same until they are changed, not through conversation, but through action,” she says. Phumlile keeps herself personally accountable by living a healthy and active lifestyle and engaging her creative side through artistic hobbies.