– I will be working as a tour guide in their park and sharing the benefits of wildlife conservation, Zimbabwean born Blessed Gundo revealed.
HARARE, ZIMBABWE – Blessed Gundo, a 30-year-old male safari guide from Victoria Falls, will for the next 12 months, be working at the Walt Disney Park and Resort, in Florida, telling the African wildlife story.
The rise of Zimbabwean born Blessed, is like a dream come true, owing to the struggles he encountered for him to reach stardom in the United States of America.
Blessed will be working as park guide and telling wildlife tales to the youths and children, using his savanna experience he acquired in the savanna wildlife sanctuaries in Victoria Falls.
“I will be working as a tour guide in their park and sharing the benefits of wildlife conservation.
Just like what I have been doing in Vic Falls I will also be doing park drives and showing them different kinds of animals,” Blessed explained while on transit in New York.
As this a cultural exchange programme Blessed will be representing the Zimbabwean culture and telling stories from his country, a feat he never dreamt.
– humble beginnings
Blessed, is the first in a family of three (3) boys was born in Seke, Chitungwiza, near the capital Harare, in 1993 but grew up in Victoria Falls.
His world then ended where his eyes could reach behind the mountains and savanna forests.
Like most boys in townships, Blessed grew up playing plastic balls on the dusty streets until he completed his secondary education.
He attended Mosi oa Tunya Primary and High Schools before embarking on some Principles of Marketing studies in 2010 but changed his mind as he could not cope with wearing a neck tie and formal wear.
The young Zimbabwean says he had always wanted a conservation career as Vic Falls is surrounded by a National Park where wildlife such as elephants literally co-exist with humans.
“I briefly worked at the Kingdom Hotel, a Five-star hotel in Vic falls, as a bedroom handyman to raise money for my safari guide course.
I wrote my first exams in 2013 but I failed, I was about to give up but was advised to soldier on,” Blessed explained.
“These courses are very expensive and considering I was working to raise my own fees, years passed before I attained anything meaningful, until I enrolled at Zimbabwe Institute of Wildlife Management formerly known as Mushandike College for Wildlife Management,” said Blessed.
Initially as he was studying, he wanted to become a wildlife officer for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management (ZimParks) until he obtained the Guiding License also known as Learner Professional Hunter’s Guide License (LPH).
Blessed chose to be a wildlife conservation activist, rather than a hunter, “as I believe wildlife is the heritage to the coming generations as it was given to us by God to keep, cultivate and conserve for future.”
Wildlife conservation appears to have been in Blessed’s DNA from birth, as he took part in various initiatives including the 2017 East to Southern Africa Wildlife walk awareness campaign titled ‘Ivory belongs to Elephant.’
“I was part of a big wildlife conservation team which walked from Kenya to Francistown in Botswana.
So before moving to the USA just before Easter, I was working as a safari guide and also a conservationist, I would spend time with school kids doing conservation talk and awareness,” he added.
Victoria Falls also known as the water that thunders (Mosi oa tunya) is one of the seven wonders of the world and attracts thousands of tourists not just to Zimbabwe but the entire region.
Blessed worked here for a number of years where he interacted with some of the big five family members.
His move to the USA is a gain to Zimbabwe and the region as Blessed will also be able to market Vic Falls through his work at Walt Disney Park and Resort in Florida.