About Benson Beza
17.10.1999 – 16.7.2021
The loss of a star
The entire Chipembele Team was deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Benson Beza who passed away on 16 July 2021 at the age of 21 at Chipata General Hospital after a short illness.
Benson had been sponsored through Chipembele since he was in Grade 8, and quickly became a core member of the Chipembele Conservation Programme. Whatever activities, events and programmes were happening, he would be there to fully get involved. In 2019 he was selected on merit as one of 14 students for a conservation education student exchange programme called Tisamale Global Exchange and travelled to Adelaide, South Australia for 3 weeks. Later that year he was sponsored by Schul Projekte Sambia (Switzerland) through Chipembele to attend Mulungushi University for a degree in Environmental Studies. This year, together with his best friends Jacob Mphasi and Meya Sakala (also both sponsored through Chipembele and studying the same degree), he founded the first ever Environmental Club (the Mulungushi Enviro Club) at their University. He was about to enter Year 3 in October 2021.
His legacy of a young rural Zambian succeeding through determination and passion, despite such a humble and difficult background, will live on through the ‘Benson Beza Conservation Award’ program, a new initiative that we are launching which aims to identify and support young Zambian future conservationists sharing Benson’s key attributes.
More About Benson and His Legacy
Benson Beza visited South Australia in 2019, making connections and making a difference, along with fourteen other young Zambians during the ‘Tisamale Global Exchange‘. Benson made life long friends with the Australian students involved in the programme. He is sadly missed at home and abroad.
The brief tribute video above was made from footage taken in 2019 in Adelaide, South Australia during the ‘Tisamale Global Exchange‘. Video by Samson Moyo: Mosam Media
Making ripples across the world… Tree Planting in South Australia in Benson’s Memory
The ‘Tisamale Global Exchange’ was a partnership between Chipembele, Creating for Conservation (C4C) and Monarto Zoo in 2018- 19. In June 2018 seven young South Australians, aged 18-22, who were participants in the Mentors at the Zoo (MATZ) programme came to Zambia. In April 2019 Benson Beza was one of the 14 Zambian youth to participate in the reciprocal visit to Adelaide, South Australia (SA). Tisamale’s goal like our own is to encourage, support and create new eco-leaders. Following Benson’s sudden passing in July 2021 his many friends in SA connected through a tree planting event organised by C4C at Monarto Zoo. Benson’s life truly has made ripples across the world, last weekend in his memory a dedicated group of nearly 100 people came together to plant 1500 donated trees at the 1500 hectare Monarto Zoo in South Australia in his name. This event also raised funds specifically for the inaugural ‘Benson Beza Conservation Awards’ which will be an annual event in South Luangwa, Zambia to encourage other young people from Benson’s local South Luangwa community to put their hearts and souls into conservation of wildlife and the environment as he did.
Learn more about the Global Giving Challenge which is raising funds for Benson Beza’s Conservation Awards here
Tree Planting and Memorial Plaque – Mfuwe, Zambia
A baobab tree was planted at the Chipembele offices during an emotional commemoration ceremony attended by Benson’s family, friends and Chipembele staff in September 2021.
The plaque reads:
“In memory and admiration of
17.10.1999 – 16.7.2021.
In tribute to his commitment and persistence
in achieving his dreams”.
How You Can Help the Benson Beza Conservation Awards
You can help us meet the Global Giving Challenge we have set up in Benson’s name to keep his legacy going every year with a Conservation Award by sharing this page using the Facebook or Twitter shares and asking your friends, family and workmates directly to help us with a $10 or more donation during the challenge.
Between 13 September and 30th September we are in a huge push to engage enough people and donations to set us up permanently on Global Giving Platform. This is both a legacy for Benson Beza in the way of an annual Conservation Award in his name for young people in his own community and an important opportunity for Chipembele to gain a permanent place on the Global Giving platform. Please help us encourage and grow young Zambian eco-leaders by making a donation $10 or above today.