I am Johnathon. I’ve always had a passion for animals. Before then I’d only ever seen animals in zoos, I want to see that every day. It sounds weird, but they just talk to me. I’m not Dr. Dolittle or anyone like that but it’s just something about animals. I want to work in conservation, to have a positive impact on the environment and the animals, and also to inspire others to be passionate like I am.
I was on a guided tour. We went through the gate, and the first thing we saw right near the gate was a group of lions, I was like okay I’ve seen a lion now.
Like what else can we see? Just to the camp which was about an hour drive we saw elephants.
So, I was held quite far back. I never thought I’d be smart enough to go to university. But I didn’t bother. Later on in life, I wanted to do something. I thought I’d go into veterinary nursing and they told me that they weren’t sure how my limitations would enable me to do the job, and actually suggested the program, or the course that I took part in.
Throughout my course, I did visit South Africa and I knew that’s where I wanted to be! So when I finished my degree, I knew that I wanted to focus more on conservation projects. I’ve found what I want to do.
I didn’t overly enjoy my schooling years just because mentally I’m able to do like academic work like everyone else. But the school that I was sent to was more aimed I think with people like sensory needs, and people with learning needs that weren’t able to learn at the level that I was able to.
Without my wheelchair, I can pretty much say I wouldn’t have done anything that I’ve wanted to do. It’s great that I can go anywhere I want in the chair! I love the fact that I can turn in small spaces. My Karma chair enables me to go on all kinds of terrain. I’ve been in the bush um on sand, on dirt, muddy weather…
I’m a massive Norwich City fan. I think I’ve been a Norwich fan since I was a child. I’ve been a season ticket holder now for about five-six years.
Whether it’s right for me or not, I push myself forward; I’m determined; I don’t like to be told I can’t do something(which I don’t know if it’s a positive or not).
I like to help other people like myself. I know I can do these things and when I see people they’re like “oh I can’t do this because I’m in a wheelchair or because of my disability”, I’m like you can do that. I’ve done it myself even
if I haven’t done something myself and I’m able to enable somebody else to do that, or at least point them in the right direction or offer them advice I’d always do that I think.
At the moment, I’ve just been doing my course with Bushwise which is a South African company to qualify to become a field guide where I’ll be licensed to take safaris and bushwalks myself, and enable people to experience the wildlife in South Africa,. You know, I’ve always experienced it.