Podcaster Tuli Amakali on the African white-backed vulture

  • Tuli Amakali is an podcaster and software developer who lives in Windhoek, Namibia. His podcast, Conversations About Nothing, explores opinions, in-depth reviews as well as interviews with influential people around the globe.
  • Amakali voiced the African white-backed vulture episode of Endangered: Short Tales for The Nearly Forgotten, a podcast anthology that celebrates species that are on the verge of extinction.
  • The African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) is classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss and poisoning by humans.
  • Amakali spoke with Mongabay ahead of the release of the African white-backed vulture podcast episode.

Tuli Amakali is an podcaster and software developer who lives in Windhoek, Namibia. His podcast, Conversations About Nothing, explores opinions, in-depth reviews as well as interviews with influential people around the globe. In his spare time, he also hosts a weekly pub quiz show, plays sports and spends time with those he loves.

Tuli Amakali

Amakali voiced the African white-backed vulture episode of Endangered: Short Tales for The Nearly Forgotten, a podcast anthology that celebrates species that are on the verge of extinction.

The African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) is classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss and poisoning by humans.

Amakali spoke with Mongabay ahead of the release of the African white-backed vulture podcast episode on June 11, 2021.

Mongabay: What is your background?

Tuli Amakali: I was born and raised Windhoek, Namibia.

I always enjoyed sharing information growing up. So little facts on the back of bubble gum wrappers, information from different television shows, etc. and that bug never left me. This lead to me starting my podcast in 2018, where I interviewed individuals that I found interesting and thought needed some light shined on them and off we were.

Mongabay: Why did you get involved in the Endangered podcast?

Tuli Amakali: I thought it would be a cool experience in terms of bringing awareness to endangered animals in an interesting, engaging and fun way. I saw the script and was instantly hooked.

In addition to the above, I also thought it would be fun to go outside of my comfort zone, doing some voice acting and trying to bring someone else’s words to life.

White-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) adult landing composite, Etosha National Park, Namibia. Photo credit: Charles J. Sharp
White-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) adult landing composite, Etosha National Park, Namibia. Photo credit: Charles J. Sharp of Sharp Photography

Mongabay: You’re representing the African white-backed vulture. What about this species resonates with you?

Tuli Amakali: It’s African and I’m African 😂.

I’m not sure to be honest. I see some of myself in the character arc of the character rather. Finding myself, the relationship with my father and just looking to grow into my own person. It hit immediately, Graham’s writing and picture painting ability is second to none and the fact that a story that seemed quite personal to him also clicked with me made it extra cool.

Mongabay: What do you hope people take away from your episode of the podcast.

Tuli Amakali: Just how packed it is with the underlying themes. It’s a quite powerful, the characters relationship with self, the shadow of his father, finding strength in fragility. Redefining of some social constructs and so much more.

I also want them to see the vulture in a more positive light and as a vital contributor to the ecosystem that needs to be protected.

African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) in flight over the Masai Mara, Kenya. Photo credit: Lip Kee
African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) in flight over the Masai Mara, Kenya. Photo credit: Lip Kee

Mongabay: What gives you hope about the future?

Tuli Amakali: Hmm, it’s a bit bleak at the moment. But I guess human beings’ ability to overcome and evolve is what gives me hope. I mean, we put ourselves in the mess in the first place (on all different fronts) but we always find a way. We are learning, unlearning and growing at a faster rate than before nd I think that means things can and will only get better. So I’ll say that gives me hope.

This story first appeared on Mongabay

Main News – Environment


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