In the extreme South-West of Uganda is the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. A wild ecosystem drawn by the orography of three sleeping giants, the Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo volcanoes, which mark the border between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A forest paradise covered by a sea of clouds that constantly caresses the treetops, where the protagonists of our story live: Joy and the Nyakagezi family.
Ranger and mother of two children, Favour (4) and Abie (2), Joy dedicates her days to protect the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and more specifically to the only family of mountain gorillas that lives in its forests: the Nyakagezi family. A clan of 9 members, formed by 3 silverbacks, 1 blackback, 2 females, 2 juveniles and 1 baby, that represents the most important living natural treasure in the park. Joy feels this family of gorillas as her own, as an inalienable part of her identity, in which she sees all the behaviors of a human family reflected. She feels like a mother twice. Mother of a human family and mother of a wild family, who she believes are just humans like us, that long time ago decided not to leave the heart of the forest.
Becoming a ranger hasn’t been an easy task. Few trusted her because she was a woman: “Do you really know how to shoot? You are lying to us." However, after more than 6 years as a ranger, Joy represents a respected and admired figure, within a mostly male team, for the determination with which she protects and defends the lives of mountain gorillas. “Protecting wilderness requires commitment. At any moment you can be attacked by a wild animal or a group of poachers and you must be prepared”. This is the story of a mother who transmits to her children the values of wildlife conservation, so that in the future little Favour and Abie will follow her legacy and go into the forest to protect their other family. The one with whom we share 98% of our DNA and is called Nyakagezi.