How Class 8 Dropout Rose to Become a Pilot

  • Helicopter landing in a conservancy. Photo: Facebook
    Helicopter landing in a conservancy. Photo: Facebook
  • John Pameri walked 100 kilometres to seek a job at Lewa conservancy.  After attaining 321 marks in the 1990 KCPE exams, he could not join high school due to financial constraints.

    At the conservancy, he was asked to come back after a month where he volunteered to guard rhinos.

    Later he underwent intensive training as a game ranger, a task he was up to.

    John Pameri feeding a rhino. Photo: Facebook
    John Pameri feeding a rhino. Photo: Facebook

    Four years later in 1996, Pameri was enrolled in a South African university undertaking a natural resource management course which he passed with distinction. 

    The university sponsored him to take an aviation course, which he also succeeded and was cleared to fly solo in 2012. 

    He confesses being receptive to new ideas - an attribute that helped him become versatile. He accepted the aviation course which had been proposed to him by his employer. 

    Pameri flies across the conservancy carrying out operations ranging from wildlife management, managing human-wildlife conflict and security operations 

    Helicopter flying over Lewa conservancy. Photo: Facebook
    Helicopter flying over Lewa conservancy. Photo: Facebook

    Not having any secondary or university certificates, Pameri attributes his success to his strong commitment. 

    "I’m encouraging young people that let us not wait for the end to look at things we didn’t do. You need to commit yourself and have your focus and vision because you can do a lot.

    He is in charge of 87 staff members at the conservancy. The staff include a contingent from different fields in the wildlife conservation sector. 

    Officers with a tracking dog carrying our conservation operation. Photo: Facebook
    Officers with a tracking dog carrying our conservation operation at Lewa conservancy. Photo: Facebook

    He travels abroad attending conferences and seeking funds for wildlife conservation drives. 

    Pameri is celebrated within the community as they witnessed his inspiring career growth and he encourages young people to follow his path. 

    Though he terms the task as heavy, he says he is ready to bear it and cannot do any other job, committing to conservation until death.  

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