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Lazola Bangani

2021 Intern

With a passion for doing good for others and his love for nature, Lazola Bangani’s hope for the future is to see people living in harmony with nature. That’s why sharing his knowledge about the environment is important to him.

Lazola has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and an Honours in Geography from Walter Sisulu University. He is currently doing his internship with the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency as an intern in environmental management. His tasks include environmental impact assessments, environmental advisory services, protected areas management planning, and stakeholder engagement.

We wanted to learn more about his journey and what the WWF internship means to him. So, we asked:

What are you passionate about?
My main drivers are self-improvement and personal development, and the ability to lend a helping hand to those in need. I become happy when I can assist someone. It doesn't have to be in the form of money or something physical. Even if it is with words of comfort, it means a lot to me.

What inspired your choice of study?
When I was growing up in the rural areas of Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, I realised that my community had limited knowledge about nature conservation. With this realisation and recognising the role that the natural environment plays in our lives, I decided to follow a nature-related career. I want to contribute to spreading information about the environment so that people can be more aware and gain more understanding about nature.

Learning about both Natural Sciences and Geography at school propelled my interest further. Topics like climate change and weather systems made me more curious. That's why I decided to pursue a career in environmental sciences.

What excites you about your internship?
I am excited for the opportunity to finally be in a work environment, engage with experienced people in my field and work alongside scientists who are testing ideas and solutions for our natural world. I am also delighted to set my work schedule and learn about time management.

What are your expectations of this internship?
I want to enrich my career with the experience and exposure that I will gain during the internship. Environmental impact assessments (EIA) is one of the work areas I am passionate about, and my internship involves exactly that. So, I hope to gain more knowledge on this. Furthermore, I wish to connect with various stakeholders from different sectors within the same field to learn how things work in the real world and gain more insights.

What contribution do you hope to make towards a future in which people and nature thrive?
While at university, I was part of the on-campus environmental club that raised awareness about environmental issues among fellow students and learners from nearby schools. I'd like to continue doing this work by participating in environmental education campaigns. I also want to be involved in EIA public participation processes. Plus, I would love to publish articles to create awareness about environmental threats and encourage people to live in harmony with nature.

Who inspires you most and why?
My mother is my inspiration. With the little that she has, she always makes sure that our family is taken care of. She motivates us to pursue education and achieve great things. She also prioritises positivity even in hopeless situations and always encourages me to have hope and faith. I admire her so much.

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