Anthony Ochieng

Roles at NAAEE:

30 Under 30

Mbita, Kenya
Age: 30

Anthony promotes wildlife conservation awareness and action through photography, film, and science.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

I believe in reaching those who are not in conservation careers or practice, to inspire them to take conservation action or become conservation philanthropists. At TonyWild, which I founded, we do this through impact conservation science, photography, and film. Our projects go beyond creating environmental awareness: we educate and nurture people to appreciate wildlife and nature through the Visual Ecological Literacy program, Wildlife is Life campaign, and MITIgation project. Through the Visual Ecological Literacy program, we display images of wildlife and human-wildlife interactions in and around the school and use those to teach about wildlife conservation and its importance to society. The MITIgation project focuses on restoration and beyond by inspiring young people to be conservation philanthropists of the future, regardless of the career they pursue. The Wildlife is Life Campaign also works to increase awareness of wildlife conservation by emphasizing that we need to sustain all life forms on earth.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today. 

The thought of people taking care of the environment inspires me. As a teenager, I had a unique interest in nature, realizing the unique bond between myself and my relationships with others. This informed my way of life, and led to me being a leader in conservation clubs in school, pursuing a wildlife management degree, working in conservation, and currently running the conservation education organization TonyWild.

My passion has always been environmental education, but life can sometimes keep you from doing what you want unless you make compromises to pursue your passions. I ended up working for a conservation organization in different roles, not as an educator. This was not fulfilling my drive to support the community and the younger generation, and help them understand the importance of wildlife and nature. This led to me redefining conservation for myself, to become a lifelong environmental educator through TonyWild.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders? 

The next generation of leaders should tread carefully on the environment and make sure all of their actions are geared towards conservation and not destruction, because environmental conservation is at the base of any world economic, political, or social issue.

What are you happiest doing?

Following my passion and believing in myself.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Animal whisperer: to talk to animals and help them rally against the negative impacts caused by human beings and develop an agreement for co-existence and equity.