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January 18, 2019

Laikipia conservationist Kuki Gallman wins global award

WORLD BEATER: Kuki Gallmann acknowledges the award in Verona, Italy, on Tuesday night. Photo/ Wanjohi Gakio
WORLD BEATER: Kuki Gallmann acknowledges the award in Verona, Italy, on Tuesday night. Photo/ Wanjohi Gakio

Laikipia Nature Conservancy director Kuki Gallman yesterday received a prestigious international award for her conservation and peace building efforts in Kenya and her native Italy.

Gallman was awarded the International Premio Masi Award, known in Italy as Masi Grosso d'Oro Veneziano International Award, in a ceremony that took place at the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Italy.

Gallman received the award for her "courage and commitment to the preservation of the environment, wildlife and general ecosystem of Africa, in pursuit of the harmonious coexistence between people, animals and nature".

The award is given annually to an international personality whose work has helped civil progress, promotion of friendship and fraternity, and the establishment of peace amongst people.

Gallman was born in Italy but moved to Kenya 40 years ago, and has acquired Kenyan citizenship by choice. She founded the Gallman Memorial Foundation in memory of her husband and son who are buried at Olari Nyiro in Laikipia.

They are represented by two trees in the foundation's logo. Gallman established the Laikipia Nature conservancy on her 100,000 acre piece of land.

The conservancy is home to 350 elephants, 100 lions, 4,000 buffaloes and thousands of impalas, zebras, hares and a wide variety of birds, insects and different species of indigenous trees.

In 2008, Gallman founded the Laikipia Highlands Games for Peace – a sporting initiative which won Kenya the 2009 Sports for Peace Event of the Year in Monaco, France.

On the fifth edition of the games held at the conservancy on September 22, Pokomo and Orma youths were flown in by The Gallmann Memorial Foundation from the embattled Tana Delta for the competition.

Kuki is also an author of several books and a poet. Thousands of Italians visit Kenya every year to experience the places she describes in her books.

She has been nominated to receive the Tara Award in Thailand during the African Elephant Coalition occasion at the CITES Conference in Bangkok. She was accompanied to Italy by her daughter Sveva Makena.

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