Mufaro Nesongano - Corporate Communications and Online Media Manager
The late Mr Ernest Mokganedi at the re-launch of NWR's Hobas Lodge in 2017

Windhoek, 30 July 2018 When one thinks about the Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Conservation Area easily come to mind. However, for the past 16 years, Mr Ernest Mokganedi spearheaded the establishment, management and extending of these two and many other TFCAs within Southern Africa as the Director of Transfrontier Conservation Areas in the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa. He was a passionate conservationist along with being a biker at heart. It was his love for biking that saw him, and other motorcyclists establish the Tshwane Legends Bikers Club (TLB).

It was through this club that, a tour of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) was arranged and saw over 60 motorcyclists tour Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe with the aim of popularising this area in May this year. It was therefore with great shock that Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) learnt of his passing on 28 July 2018 due to a motorcycle accident which also saw two fellow motorcyclists injured.

“My interaction with Mr Mokganedi started with the involvement of NWR in the cross-border activities that take place within the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld TFCA. It was at one of our meetings that I learnt that Mr Mokganedi was an avid biker. Though, in my mind, I had a distrust of bikers due to not fully understanding them. It was only after getting an opportunity to meet the club he was a part of that I realised that TLB had a vision of how they wanted to positively impact how bikers were viewed. It was through this vision that saw TLB and NWR organise the tour of 60 bikers who crisscrossed five countries under nine days earlier this year. This was by far the biggest tour we implemented as NWR, and I must say a great deal of the success came from the perseverance of Mr Mokganedi”, says Mrs Zelna Hengari, NWR managing director.

The TLB KAZA tour resulted in a massive interest from fellow bikers and other biking communities showing an interest in undertaking to do the same tour next year. At the moment NWR and TLB are busy finalising a tour for this September that will see some of the bikers who attended the TLB KAZA tour undertake a trip around Namibia. It is just sad that Bra Ernie as he was popularly known will not be able to be a part of this trip.

“I certainly know that the plans that he had for the TFCA and TLB will not end here. He was such a great inspiration and mentor. Therefore, many people will ensure that his dream of a borderless Africa will be realised were visitors can enjoy the beauty of Africa with ease. Conversations with him revolved around how we as Africans should give the world a different view of who we are and what we stand for aside from the misconceptions that are out there. That is why TLB was close to his heart and why he felt that through biking, this was one way this could be achieved”, says Mrs Hengari.

“Leadership was a word he liked to address those he respected. It is, therefore, gratifying that he worked closely with our Managing Director whom he had enormous respect for. He believed that she had a lot to offer NWR and Namibia at large. Therefore, we are thankful that she is still here to ensure that his ideas do not depart with him” says Mr Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano, NWR corporate communications and online media manager.