Lihle Dlamini is ensuring
While looking after her grandmother’s garden as a child growing up in KwaZulu-Natal,
never did Lihle Dlamini imagine she would one day be in charge of the image and reputation of the organisation that manages the national botanical gardens of the country.
“I remember spending time in my grandmother’s garden pruning her roses, which was one of my chores. I would say this is where my love for roses developed,”
she recalls. Dlamini is currently Director of Marketing and Communications at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).
SANBI champions the state of biodiversity in South Africa. The institute provides knowledge and information,
and provides planning and policy advice to the Department of Environmental Aff airs.
It also engages in ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation,
along with managing the national botanical gardens. While Dlamini never imagined herself working at SANBI,
especially after she started off her career as a teacher, she says she thoroughly enjoys marketing
an organisation representing a country that is one of the most biologically diverse in the world, after Indonesia and Brazil.
South Africa is surrounded by two oceans and occupies only about two percent of the world’s land area,
but is home to nearly 10 percent of the world’s plants, seven percent of reptiles, birds and mammals and 15 percent of known coastal marine species.
The country also has nine unique vegetation landscapes, three of which have been declared global biodiversity hotspots.
Making SANBI a household name Dlamini says when she joined SANBI in 2013, the first task she set herself was ensuring that every South African learns about SANBI and its involvement in the ecosystem and tourism.
While she fi nds biodiversity very interesting, Dlamini admits that when she joined SANBI she did not know much about the organisation, except that the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in the Western Cape is at the foot of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
“Even during my interview for the position of director, I indicated to the panel that not many people know about SANBI.
“I wanted to work for the organisation because I thought there was an opportunity for me to introduce SANBI to the public.”
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