Kenyan conservationist bags international awardKelvin Wanjohi 12:18 16/10/2012
Italian born Kenya citizen, Kuki Gallman, a well known and respected world personality, author, poet conservationist and environmental activist who runs the Laikipia Nature Conservancy formerly known as Laikipia Ranching, has received a prestigious international award in her country of origin.
This Award, known as The International Masi Grosso D'oro Veneziano, is traditionally given to an international personality whose work has helped civil progress, friendship and fraternity, and the establishment of peace amongst the peoples of the world.
The stage of the Teatro Filarmonico of Verona, where the awards presentation took place on the evening of September 29 (last month), was taken over by Kuki's fans in not only Italy but also other European countries.
Kuki, who was accompanied to Italy by her daughter Sveva-Makena, lives in Ol ari Nyiro, in Laikipia West, which she has transformed into a nature conservancy dedicated to education, environment conservation and community service.
She is perhaps better known in the area as a strict anti-poaching front-runner whose efforts saw the Kenya Wildlife Serevice (KWS) make her a game warden. Her protection of the rhino, the elephant and other fauna within her conservancy is unsurpassed.
Kuki, who has penned many international best seller books, is extremely popular in her native Italy. Thousands of Italians have visited Kenya every year to experience first-hand the places she describes in her books.
“For her courageous and ongoing commitment to the preservation of the environment, wildlife and
general ecosystem of Africa, in pursuit of the harmonious coexistence between people, animals and nature The International Masi Grosso D'oro Veneziano goes to Kuki Gallmann!" said the officiant at the colorful function.
This award is the highest recognition of this prestigious award established thirty one years ago in Verona, Italy. Kuki had been unanimously nominated as the recepient this year.
Kuki, whose friends and neighbours fondly call Mama, is a well known personality in the world of conservation and philanthropy.
Kuki is also the Founder of the Laikipia Highlands Games-Sports for Peace-whose recent edition, on September 22 this year, saw Pokomo and Orma youth - flown in by The Gallmann Memorial Foundation especially from the embattled Tana Delta- , peacefully competes in sports.The Laikipia Highlands Games won for Kenya the 2009 Sports for Peace Event of the Year Award in Monaco, France