When you interact with this guy along the road you may think he is just another young man with the same visions of get rich, buy a fancy house and car and live your life, but Mr. Santosian Noor has different wants and Needs. His passion for Flora and Fauna dissolves all the desire and urge for the fancy life.
The following is a written interview I had with him and he had the following to say:
SECTION ONE [PERSONAL DETAILS]
1. What are your full names?
2. Where were you born and raised up?
3. Where did you attend school? i.e. from pre-school to date [State the years if you don’t mind]
2010 – 2015
University of Nairobi (Graduating in August)
Environmental and Biosystem Engineering
2010 [Jan – Sept]
South Eastern College
Automobile Association of Kenya
BCE Driving School
2006 – 2009
Oloitokitok Boys High school
1997 – 2005
DEB primary School
4. Did you have any goals and visions as you grew up? Did you have a mentor someone you looked up to?
Yeah, one of my greatest goals is to ensure that every youth, not only in Kenya but Africa be in the front line in making changes.
My vision is to integrate all youth efforts towards rescuing our community through conservation. Perhaps this is a little affordable effort that every young Kenyan can do. Of the greatest conservation efforts is to cut off all environmental crimes in either flora or fauna.
Being born from the other corner of social class perhaps, I can firmly say am my own mentor.
SECTION TWO [SOCIETY]
1. What is your view on Loitokitok, current state; financially, politically etc. Is it able to produce a generation that will impact the society? What is it that has to change for a better Loitokitok?
Loitokitok is the only town in Kenya where life feels like heaven. It has potential on all forms of business in terms of investments, agro-farming, eco-tourism and also a comfort zone to all. Politically, the town is strategically settled and mature. I see productive politics in Loitokitok.
I was talking to Clinton Gachangi, one of the Kenyan-American who is an ambassador of Young One World. Clinton is as young as I am or rather younger than me, but what inspires me is that he is stands in front of world rulers to talk of the impacts of young generation towards the world development.
Loitokitok society (especially women) have the ability to empower that young able girl or boy towards making this area one of the greatest towns in the world. Taking Malala as an example, the young Pakistani girl who advocates for girl child education in her area, which is something next to impossible, works. Loitokitok has all the potential to make its young generation a positive impact in the society and not only in Loitokitok but in the whole world. I see many young people with potential in my area.
Change is something inevitable and mostly it’s progressive in actions. It is sad to mention that FGM is still prevalent here. It is also sad to mention that we as the society are the same people who destroy our own habitat. It is also very sad to say that we are the same people who ignite corruption to favor our own interests. For the betterment of our own land it is my responsibility as a person and as a resident of this area to bring positive change directly or indirectly.
Guard your light and protect it. Move it forward into the world and be fully confident that if we connect light to light, and join the lights of our young people together, the light will be sufficient for our region to glow.
What is needed now are increased efforts to promote youth participation and commitment; more services aimed to promote the youth; more parental involvement; more education and information by using schools and other resources; more protection for girls against FGM; care for the orphaned children and young women; an end to stigmatization with people with HIV and AIDS and ways to raise the standards of living for the Loitokitok resident.
I can say that am tired of the frequent killings of youth in Loitokitok.
2. How does what you do impact the society? How have you been an inspiration to the society?
A lot has been done in the area and the continent. But the gap still remains, the gap is to connect the youth with our planet. Take a case example, if we weigh the deeds of the youth in the area, you will agree with me there are more negative deeds than there are positive ones.
A question put forth is, on what platform are these youth brought to be the light of the society? Ask me to go and take the youth fund, sure enough, it is a motive to start something but will killing, stealing, drugs abuse end?
At a personal level, my brain is twisted towards conservation. We own one of the largest and historic site in the universe: Amboseli, but where will be the position of that site in few years to come? My philosophy is simple: keep off all environmental crimes for the betterment of our coming generations. I am saying this because thousands of people are benefiting from natural resources other than private enterprises.
I think starting conservation at early age of 19 years or less, one thing is clear for me, conservation is not business but a devotion.
SECTION THREE [WHAT YOU DO]
1. What is it that you do now?
Am a 5th year finalist at University of Nairobi School of Engineering and a full time conservationist.
2. What is African Nomads Conservancy and how are you affiliated to it?
Africa Nomads Conservation; as the word suggests, is the foundation I started while I was a 3rd year student. It was an initiative I started after the 2009 tragic hunger that affected the country and seeing the livestock of pastoralists and wildlife dying, I was inclined. It is a long path that made me go and pursue environmental engineering only to grow up modelling simulations and systems that will protect our community against environmental tragedies.
I silently registered the foundation in 2013 with co-founders Stephen Lemaron, Kennedy Mwaura and I. Basically the foundation is triggered towards controlling environmental crimes and simulating systems that will create a smooth living conditions to both our community and nature. Much more if found at www.africaconserve.org
3. Why do you take poaching so serious? Shouldn’t you be living like a normal Loitokitok youth? Why do you fight for animals? What is your driving factor? What motivates you to do what you do?
It is crazy, In 1978 about 1.3M elephants roamed in Africa, in 2013, only 500,000 remained. The rest were slaughtered for selfish gain. In 2013, an average of 33,000 elephants were killed each year. Today, here in Amboseli, we have about 2000 elephants in a vast area coverage. With the interaction between human and wildlife, we anticipate that these animals have the shortest lifespan here on earth. I can’t imagine Amboseli losing it greatest name ‘LAND OF GIANTS’ after all its elephants are swept out.
Antigone Aesculus once asked ‘If I am young and wrong, then you are right [to look down on my youthful ignorance.] But if I am young and right, what does my age matter?” In one way or another, am just as normal as any other youth in the region. I can’t swallow the pain that elephants, rhino, pangolins and other animals will go extinct as I observe while am at my young age. Something should be the inspiration to the other juveniles. It is a natural connection between me, animals and Environment.
There are lot of factors that inspired me to be a conservationist, the driving force being the the great desire to be able to communicate the same language with an animals (I know one will ask why, but I say, listen to your heart render the same feeling you get after you have fed all your kids and seeing them smiling around, joking and satisfied. That is the same feeling should be between human and animals).
Seeing graphic images of horrific killings of wildlife was another motivational factor and I asked myself, suppose these animals could talk, what is the last word they could say before they die?
In summary, the driving factor in conservation is the passion to do it. There are a lot of magical stories you can narrate given the chance to live up to your 4th generation.
My greatest motivation is to conserve, driven by the urge to protect the little I can.
4. Some may say you are in this project as just a means of getting the daily bread. Some may argue that you are not ‘seriously’ in it but just another business idea. Kindly use this section to pass on the message that you are not driven by fame nor wealth but by the care of wild animals and the urge to bring a positive effect to the country in regards to poaching.
I mentioned this in different platforms, if your motive is to flourish through foundations, you’re in wrong place as well as wasting your time. There is no fame that comes to fake ghost change makers, unless you employ your own media to do the same. Of the greatest challenges, poaching and environmental crimes have become hot topics to mention, they cost lives anytime and anywhere. Take the case of the battle between law enforcing officers and poachers in Virunga, it costed thousands of life for the sake of protecting wildlife. Money comes and goes but our heritage once gone will never recovered.
5. Give Loitokitok youth an inspirational note. For those who think that they have reached the peak of life and cannot make it no more.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.
Most youth in Loitokitok have the ‘can’t do’ mentality. Mr Santosian Noor has defied all odds and registered the Africa conservancy foundation that has made a change both in the nation and in the universe. Loitokitok youth should learn to bond with each other, they should learn that the success of one is the success of all and that life is not a competition but a platform to help others grow!