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Who Are The Black Mamabas?

Who Are The Black Mamabas?

Haven’t heard about the PAM x PUMA impact partners, The Black Mambas?

Read on...

With each collaborative collection, PAM links with an impact partner to support a project relating specifically to biodiversity. Here’s a quick resource on the world’s first all-female anti-poaching unit who’re patrolling (often on foot) South Africa’s 150,000-acre Balule Nature Reserve, building an inspiring and effective model for conservation and community building.

Ten years ago, six young women ran their first patrol, forming The Black Mambas — what’s now a 36-woman strong APU. Their fundamental purpose is to protect wildlife resources in South Africa, and they upskill local communities, provide opportunities for women to earn money, build strength and maintain incredible empowerment. Their job is to deter local bushmeat hunters and organised rhino-poaching syndicates; they monitor camera traps, collect snares, and document evidence of illegal activity, often coming face to face with elephants, lions and buffalo or, more dangerously, armed poachers.

 This profile is a great overview of their work, and we love their answer to the question ‘What strengths do women bring to the job?’: “Women are primary caregivers who are good at building relationships and keeping secrets,” Sergeant Nkateko Mzimba answers. “Gathering intelligence is an important part of our work. I think women have more self-control. When men are off duty, relaxing with their friends, they can be tempted to talk too much and say things they shouldn’t. A ranger needs to be physically strong, but they also need mental strength.” The Black Mambas also appear in National Geographic numerous times.

The comments section of this Mambas instagram post (below), basically an AMA, also has some really nice insights into their work. They answer questions about training, fear, mental health, success and so much more.