From a very young age, there was little doubt as to the direction Chrisjan’s life would take. On his very first day at school they were told to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up. Chrisjan had confidently drawn himself in the bush wearing a loincloth, sporting long dreadlocks and holding a spear in hand. In the drawing he was surrounded by different animals that were under his protection.
It was a beautiful vision that has eventually realised for him. Well, in some way it did. The reality of it all today is sadly a little different. Today he carries a gun instead of a spear, he wears a uniform instead of a loincloth and he has a military cut instead of his Tarzan locks. But that is a small price to pay to be able to live out ones life’s true wish and purpose.
With his input and addition of the K9 training, man and dog will fight along side one another to protect fellow species against greed, ignorance, desperation and indifference.
But getting to where he is today, meaning doing what he loves, didn’t happen without its struggles. Let me briefly explain. Chrisjan comes from a very small but strong, middle class family that is run by a beautiful single mother who stood by her sons and kept their heads and hearts in the right place. It was a family where money was enough but not in abundance so he was no stranger to work from an early age. After school he had shown interest in conservation but the spark only took to flames in 2013 when he was introduced to an amazing antipoaching company and so he signed up immediately. There he went through training and continued on to become a sergeant.
After almost two years there, and many rhino’s lost, he decided to go to Cape Town to acquire additional training, experience and gear that could be useful in their fight. But all this cost a pretty penny so he worked hard, very hard. Job after job. He would do stretches of a month or two at a time with 13 hour days, 7 days a week. And in-between these jobs he volunteered at Cape Town K9 Training Centre and Kennels for experience and knowledge. He was very impressed with the company’s approach towards training and he was made to feel at home by an amazing team.
With the hours and over times he clocked and a few contributions, he was able to obtain the necessary training and gear to head back to his home in the bush.
Things were looking up but then misfortune wouldn’t go down without a fight. Chrisjan was robbed. He was on his way back to Limpopo and had packed all his worldly possessions in the back of his bakkie with his best friend, Bane. Before the journey back had even started he stopped to get lunch and took Bane with him, as it was a scorcher of a day, and so he was robbed. With a full belly he returned to a broke, empty bakkie.
But despite his misfortune, nothing was stopping him. So with a few more last minute contributions and his own back-up, he acquired the bare minimum needed and set of into Africa with square shoulders and firm feet.
He has been there now for a few days and it has already been a rather interesting few days, but I will elaborate further on that next time. He is slowly busy building up his gear again and getting back into the swing of thing. Life has a different rhythm up there. He has a new Belgium Malinois puppy he is prepping for training and so many new things are happening there that it is hard to keep up but I will do my best.
I just wanted to make this post to acknowledge his efforts and thank him and everyone beside him for taking this responsibility onto their shoulders. I could not be prouder of this man who is not swayed by the tainted distractions and temptations humanity offers.