By Barbra Onkoba
Winners of the annual ‘Eye in the Wild’ photography competition themed ‘Stop the Chop’, sponsored by Mabati Rolling Mills have been feted in a colorful ceremony held at Karura Forest.
The campaign supports sustainable solutions that contribute to forest conservation with a view to protect our natural environment. It focused on four elements – wildlife, water, community, and lifestyle and provided a platform for photographers to highlight the beauty in Kenya’s landscape whilst celebrating the best talent.
Speaking, Andrew John Heycott, Mabati Rolling Mills CEO said the completion is aimed to educate Kenyans on the benefits that emanate from forests and thus need to protect.
He urged Kenyans to use alternative ways to timber such as Metal frames in order to restore and conserve Kenya’s forest cover.
“All the photos submitted captured the stark contrast of Kenya’s immense beauty and the devastating impact of climate change and deforestation. As we celebrate today’s winners, may this be a reminder of the work needed to restore and conserve Kenya’s forest cover”.
He adds, “The judging process this year focused on four main criteria – an expression of theme, creativity, composition, and photographic quality – and was overseen by a panel of three judges with vast photographic knowledge”
The competition attracted 538 entries with only 20 finalists accorded chance to attend photography masterclass with a Nikon expert to learn more about nature photography.
Salma Shah emerging the Overall Gold Winner and won ksh 350,000 as prize money, Salome Tarus emerged the Silver Winner received Ksh 250,000 while Abdulrahman Mutuma took the Bronze Award with Ksh 150,000.
“I am delighted to have emerged the Gold Winner in this year’s competition. My strategy was to showcase how we have a very beautiful country that we need to conserve for future generations,” said Salma.
Richard Kariuki, an outdoor photographer, won The People’s Choice Award with his photo that depicted a new shoot growing over a felled tree garnering 3,820 unique votes from the public. James Wando also stood out and scooped the Best Under-18 Award. Both received a new Nikon D3500 camera.