YOUNG CITIZEN: ‘Meeting my idol for the first time’

Sunday August 25 2019


By Tasneem Hassanali

Jane Goodall, a name known to all, is an inspiration to millions of children all over the world including Tanzania. At the age of 26, Jane travelled from England to Tanzania and ventured into the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

One of her young fans is 8-year-old Abduttayyib Murtaza, a Grade Two pupil from Zanzibar. He learnt about Dr Goodall’s amazing tales through his mother Shireen, who not only has immense love for animals but has been a huge fan of Dr Goodall’s work since she was a little girl. Abduttayyib’s love for wild animals was also nurtured by his uncle Mustafa, a wildlife researcher and conservationist, who always made sure to take Abduttayyib to the wild with him during his school holidays.

Last week, Abduttayyib met Jane Goodall, in Fumba town at a fundraising event. He prepared a drawing and a letter for Dr Goodall that he presented to her after the event. The letter had a drawing of a chimpanzee, Flo, one of the oldest and most popular chimp to approach Dr Goodall’s camp. The letter read, ‘Jane Goodall, I am a big fan of yours. I love animals just like you. You have inspired me very much and you have made my dream come true. My uncle takes me to Tarangire National Park every holiday. Thank you very much – signed from Abduttayyib to Jane Goodall.’

“I was very happy to meet Jane Goodall. When I presented my card to her, she made me sit next to her and asked me questions and also hugged me. It was a dream come true to meet her. Her story is really nice.”

Abduttayyib learnt about Dr Goodall’s story through a national geographic movie called ‘Jane’. “I have watched her movie and I was really amazed about her. I really enjoyed watching the movie because it showed how she enjoys her time with the chimpanzees,” he said, excitedly adding, “Did you know that Flo’s daughter is named Fifi. And I call my aunty Fifi, and that reminded me of her.”

Abduttayyib aspires to one day visit Gombe and Mahale Mountains National Park to trek into the nature and see the real life of chimpanzees.