Raising the Banner of Environmental Consciousness: My Journey on Kgale Hill Gaborone
As someone who has recently fallen head over heels for nature, hiking, mountain climbing, and rock climbing, it’s both disheartening and baffling to witness the disregard some fellow adult adventurers show for the simple mantra of leaving only footprints and capturing only memories amidst the beauty of nature.
On my explorations around Southern Africa, my excitement was frequently dampened by the sight of discarded trash, particularly in spots as majestic as the revered Kgale Hill in Botswana, Cape Town and even Victoria Falls. It’s sad to think that “responsible” adults are often the culprits behind this disregard for our environment. I had often thought children need more environmental awareness education. Now I wonder: Should more efforts be directed at adults? What would it take for that significant mental shift to happen, enabling us to lead by example and create a lasting impact for generations to come?
Embarking on a Journey of Discovery: Conquering Kgale Hill
In the heart of Gaborone, Botswana, lies a natural gem that has captured my heart and spirit – the majestic Kgale Hill. Over the past few months, I’ve embarked on a daily ritual of climbing this remarkable hill, not just for the physical challenge it presents, but for the breathtaking beauty it unveils and the personal growth it inspires.
The Beauty of Kgale Hill Botswana
From the very first step on the rugged trail, Kgale Hill has always held an allure that’s impossible to resist. As the sun peeks over the horizon, the golden rays paint the landscape in a warm glow, casting a magical spell that transforms the mundane into the extraordinary. The path winds through rocky outcrops, some vegetation, and diverse trees in different shapes and sizes. The panoramic view from the hill’s summit is an awesome reward for the sweat and determination required to reach it. From the top of the hill, you can see the city expanding, Kgale hill public park, the majestic Gaborone Dam, a view of the mountains and a nearby quary. *I will be writing a follow up blog about this quarry and my experience soon.
The Initial Challenge
I vividly recall the very first time I attempted to conquer Kgale Hill. With my climbing shoes on and my climbing gear ready, I embarked on what would become one of the most life changing experiences of my life. The trail, though captivating, presented a formidable challenge. The steep ascent, combined with the rugged terrain, put my physical and mental endurance to the test. The trail seemed to demand respect, teaching me humility in the face of nature’s might. However, the sense of accomplishment upon reaching the top was indescribable – a feeling of triumph over adversity that fueled my determination to return, day after day. You can learn more about my detailed experience here.
Bra Lucky: A Guiding Light
Amidst the journey’s trials and triumphs, a serendipitous encounter changed the course of my daily hikes. A kind gentleman, “Bra Lucky” operates a small stall at the base of Kgale Hill, offering water and snacks to hikers. His kindness extended beyond business when he offered to accompany me on my hikes for safety’s sake. This gesture of friendship transformed my solo hikes into shared adventures. Together, we braved the trails, with Bra Lucky not only being my guide but a coach who would later challenge me to do the impossible in many ways than one. Bra lucky really turned each climbing experience into an unforgettable one.
The Trash Troubles
As I continued my daily hikes up Kgale Hill, an issue deeply troubled me – the prevalence of trash and plastic scattered along the trail. The breathtaking natural beauty juxtaposed against this unsightly litter was disheartening. It was painful to witness how some hikers and visitors thoughtlessly discarded their waste, tarnishing the very environment they came to enjoy. This sight weighed on my heart. I found solace and inspiration on the hill daily, yet its beauty was marred by human negligence.
Lessons in Environmental Responsibility
It was around this time that Matt, an exceptional friend, and I became hiking companions, making our way up the mountain daily, accompanied by our wonderful guide, Bra Lucky. On our hikes, we delved deeply into discussions about writing, poetry, the environment and promoting positive actions. Topics ranged from My Zalu’s mission and tree planting to even daring each other with audacious environmental goals and milestones. My own endeavor, which I’m still striving to achieve, involves distributing 100,001 copies of environmental awareness books to students within the next 6 months and empowering 100,001 learners to become more effective custodians of the environment.
Nonetheless, we concluded that charity starts right where we stand. Consequently, the following day, we resolved to undertake a cleanup on Kgale Hill.
The next day, Matt arrived with trash bags. So, off we embarked on our journey. This turned out to be an intriguing exercise, marking my inaugural experience of pursuing two of my cherished passions: mountain climbing and also tending to the environment.
While atop the mountain, we encountered a range of individuals—some seemingly astonished by our actions, and others expressing gratitude for our commendable efforts. However, it was ironic that I expected a higher participation level from fellow hikers in our cause, but that anticipation fell flat. Most merely pledged not to leave trash on the mountain, yet some failed to honor that commitment. For instance, I saw another man, right in front of me, drink water and then carelessly toss his plastic bottle into the bushes.
I won’t deny my anger in that moment. Nor can I deny the urge to approach him, compelling him to pick up his trash. However, I chose a different path; I picked up the bottle and carried on with my task, recognizing the lack of consideration and ignorance that often characterizes humanity.
In any case, after this incident, two remarkable events unfolded. We met a group of children playing and running on the mountain. They were so fascinated with what we were doing and asked a lot of questions. After engaging in an extensive conversation with them, they eventually left.
A few moments later, as we continued picking up trash along our route, I heard the excited shouts of these children as they descended the hill. Looking up, I saw the most heartwarming yet disturbing scene I had ever seen. These children were carrying lots and lots of plastic bottles. I have never seen such a look of joy and excitement.
Their words echoed, “We picked up every trash we could find.”
This sight moved me to tears. I wept. Of course, the initial thought was that of concern for these children who had rummaged through trash with no thought for their own safety. I quickly took the trash from them and stuffed it in trash bags.
But my tears also signified hope—a realization that children hold the potential to transform our world. They need no extensive guidance or teaching; they merely need good role models to observe and emulate. My tears reflected the assurance that our endeavors at My Zalu, aimed at inspiring children to be better guardians of the environment, were not in vain. This experience served as my proof, right then and there that our work was not in vain. This realization prompted me to resign from my job, dedicating myself to inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards, as our best hope for the environment’s future rests in their hands.
For the remainder of the day, we joined forces with the children in a shared mission to gather trash. As daylight waned, we had gathered close to 30 bags of waste from the hill’s terrain. Little did I know, this impactful journey was far from reaching its conclusion. The events of the following day would prove that there was more to come.
A Surprise Encounter
Remember Bra Lucky, our kind guide and protector? He joined us in our trash-collection endeavor. The following day, as we embarked on a routine hike, we stumbled upon an astonishing sight. Bra Lucky was diligently picking up trash and tidying the lower part of the mountain. My tears flowed again, affirming that every seed we plant, regardless of its size, catalyzes goodness in those around us.
And now, a newfound hope dwells within me for Kgale Hill. I’m confident in Bra Lucky’s role as its guardian, certain that he will inspire fellow hikers, whenever and wherever possible, to replicate these actions. If you ever find yourself in Gaborone, ascending Kgale Hill, please look for Bra Lucky and extend your appreciation. He’s truly an exceptional human being, and he makes a good, trustworthy and knowledgeable guide.
This concludes my exhilarating escapade on Kgale Hill. As I bid Gaborone farewell, I’m enthused about the seeds sown in the young boys who aided us in cleansing the mountain. I congratulate their parents for nurturing responsible future leaders who unhesitatingly choose the right path. Through these boys, I’m assured that Gaborone has young eco-heroes who will mature into exceptional stewards of the environment.
In closing, the ascent of Kgale Hill has evolved beyond its physical challenges. It now symbolizes the spirit of exploration, the bonds forged in unexpected friendship, and our responsibility as guardians of our natural wonders. At every step, I’m reminded that our surroundings’ beauty is a delicate gift, demanding our utmost care and respect. As I bid farewell to Kgale Hill, I carry with me a heart brimming with gratitude for the lessons it imparts and the inspiration it ignites.
Change Through Example: Join the Movement with My Zalu
In the heart of our recent adventure on Kgale Hill lies an invaluable lesson that beckons us to take action. The children we encountered didn’t require words or lectures to spring into action; they simply saw and emulated. This powerful principle reminds us that every action we, as adults, take in the realm of environmental care has a dual impact: it influences not only our present but also the future our children will inherit.
Picture the excitement in those young eyes as they eagerly picked up trash, mimicking the positive actions they witnessed. Their innate ability to emulate showcases the immense potential for change, emphasizing the need for us to be the change we wish to see in the world. Our responsibility as stewards of the environment extends beyond the present moment; it shapes the mindset and actions of generations to come.
It’s time to answer the call and become beacons of inspiration for the youth. Let us pledge to be exemplary models of environmental responsibility, demonstrating through our deeds the significance of safeguarding our planet. But this journey is not solitary—it’s a collective endeavor that finds its home within the My Zalu community.
By joining hands with My Zalu, we unite with a community driven by a shared purpose: to foster environmental consciousness and inspire change, not through words alone, but by leading through action. Together, we can amplify our efforts, create a wave of transformation, and set the stage for a greener, more sustainable future.
Take the pledge today—to be leaders of change and mentors for the next generation. Join the My Zalu community and be a part of this movement. Together, we will ensure that our actions today resonate in the actions of generations tomorrow. Embrace the power of leading by example, and let’s shape a world where environmental stewardship is second nature to all.
Join My Zalu and Be the Change – Today for Tomorrow!