Brunei students battle rhino poaching in Namibia

Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia (MIAA) students Hamizah Hamzah and Mirza Mursyidah have joined forces with The Rhino Pride Campaign, a grassroots cooperative initiative operating in north-west Namibia, to help prevent the poaching of the critically endangered black rhino.

Both students edited a seven-minute video to increase awareness and provide recognition for the campaign, which has successfully contributed to the decline of poaching in the Southern African country.

Hamizah said, “I like the idea of my skills as an editor in Brunei contributing to the well-being and safety of one of the world-most threatened animals. This is truly an international project.”

Dean of MIAA Dr Alex Fischer said, “This was the ideal project for the students to work on during the COVID-19 lockdown, because the production utilised file transfer services and Facebook video calls. Hamizah and Mirza worked hard to develop a ‘pandemic-proof’ post-production workflow that was safe and extremely cost-effective.”

The project took four weeks to complete. The students worked closely with Dr Jeff Muntifering, Science Adviser of Save the Rhino Trust, one of the Namibian organisations co-leading the campaigns, to ensure that the final product represents its vision. According to Dr Muntifering, “the video will be viewed by thousands of rural Namibians and significantly help to raise local awareness, and ensure people who can stop poaching are fully engaged in rhino conservation.”

The video highlights the valuable work of the wildlife rangers, law enforcement and conservation volunteers. It also confirms the importance of income-generating options like rhino tourism.

Mirza joined MIAA in March this year. When asked how this production would impact her filmmaking career, she replied, “This was my first professional editing job, and I’m pleased the project has an immediate impact in promoting a pro-rhino identity for Namibians.”

For information about Save the Rhinos Trust visit www.savetherhinotrust.org.

Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia (MIAA) students Hamizah Hamzah and Mirza Mursyidah. PHOTO: MIAA