Saturday the 22nd of August, was not only one of the warmest days of the year so far, but full of love and passion for saving lions.
LIONAID charity, founded by Chris MacSween and Pieter Kat, hosted a double day of fundraising events. Green World TV and I dropped by to film the occasion.
The first half of the day started in Trafalgar Square where the crowds were treated to some wonderful music, face painting and an exhibition of artwork created by children all over the UK for Lionaid’s ‘Draw out the Lion in you’ campaign. (middle photo by Fiona Deane)
LionAid also had a crate on show with volunteers dressed as lions, so to raise awareness to the cruel trade in canned hunting.
Both Born Free’s Dominic Dyer and LionAid’s Chris MacSween spoke over the microphone to the passing crowds and answered questions about trophy hunting and the desperate plight of the remaining 15,000 wild lions in Africa.
There were some amazing T Shirts for sale, which you can still buy by contacting The Lionaid website here: www.lionaid.org
The evening concert was a beautiful affair in the elegant St Pancras Church in North London. Hosted by the dulcet-toned Peter Egan, guests were treated to powerful and heartwarming speeches from Games of Thrones star James Cosmo, Veterinary Marc Abraham, Born Free’s Dominic Dyer, Christian the Lion’s John Rendall, Poet Phil Brooks, Actress & Patron Diane Keen, founders Chris MacSween & Pieter Kat – I decided to read out a poem I had written for the day about a ‘possible future’ without animals. (You can read the poem at the bottom of this blog)
Special messages were wired over to us from some astounding guests such as Dr Jane Goodhall, Kevin Richardson the Lion Whisper, The Director of Bloodlions, SuperVet Noel Fitzpatrick, Steve Travis of P.A.L and animal welfare pals Wendy Turner Webster and Julia Peasgood.
We were treated to music from beautiful New Age Band Besureis, the first track really captured me with its rhythmic beats; the extremely talented Aphty Khea who blew my mind with on on stage mixing of sounds interlocking with her voice; the talented Nora Francesca who sung and played all the way from Los Angeles as well as the incredible Jazz tones of Alison Burns which catapulted me all the way back to the 50’s and 60’s – I must admit that I had tears in my eyes when she sang – music for the soul as well as the lions….
The evening was finished off with The Lionaid team all heading on up onto stage and orchestrating a wonderful group hug and thankyou speeches to all the volunteers and celebrities who had taken part.
A wonderful, wonderful day and night event to which I was truly honoured to be a part of.
Lets not forget WHY Lion Aid did this night. There are only 15,000 estimated lions left in Africa (not counting the canned lions so horrifically bred and kept for the psychopathic killing industry….oh sorry, I meant the hunting industry)
If we carry on the way we are going, lions may be EXTINCT in the wild in the next 15 years. This is not OK. Please write to your politicians and everyone you can think of who will help. Donate to Lion Aid and Born Free and all the other organisations so desperately trying to stop lions being wiped out. Imagine a world with no more lions….think about that as you are shopping for clothes and fast cars…Ignorance will destroy this planet…
Please enjoy my poem and lets not end up having a future, as depicted in my verse:
‘A Possible Future’ – by Anneka Svenska
“Nanna please may I come and sit down on your knee,
and ask you about creatures that once used to be?
Please tell me about birds which flew in the sky,
and powerful predators from times long gone by”
“Of course my dear thing, now let me recap,
come sit yourself down on your old nanna’s lap..
Once many years ago, birds would float on the breeze,
it was a joyous and wonderful site all to see.
They would fly overhead and we would put out some food,
in pots called bird feeders where my old house stood.
They would fly in flocks across the bright blue sky,
a joy to behold in days long gone by.
The garden had flowers and they were cared for by bees,
who buzzed from each petal and tall plants they called trees.
The flowers all died in 2060,
when the bees all fell dead from something, a mystery.
They sprayed the crops with this poisonous solution,
but the government denied this, said it was just evolution.”
“Nanna, I have this book it has pictures inside,
of huge manned cats who lived in a pride.
They looked powerful and beautiful and could rule I do think,
so I don’t understand how they now are extinct?”
“Yes my darling, the last one was killed in 2032,
when a hunter from Utah shot it down with an arrow or two.
Oh the lions were wonderful, so big and so proud.
They would walk the savannah and roar oh so loud.
Once there were thousands who would roam over the land,
Until hunters took them home for a hundred thousand rand.
There are genetically modified lions, yes it’s true,
A cloned one was born yesterday in San Diego zoo.
The strange thing is now, not one of them roars,
Like the days when they roamed the savannah, like I saw
They sit fat and listless in these zoos and these parks.
No need for that big voice which set them apart.
These tall animals called Giraffes would quiver and run
And one horned rhinos would raise their heads to the sun.
The plains were filled with colour and with calls
In those days long ago when the lions once ruled.
Some kind people did try to stop all these crimes
Against wildlife and animals, they tried all the time.
I played my part too, I remember it well,
The demos, the films, to stop all this hell.
But sadly the governments were more interested in war
The weapons they made, possessions, money and more.
We sat and we wept when the last lion died
I remember the time, it was twenty past five.
They say that everyone remembers where they were that day,
when the last rhino fell and its horn chopped away.
When the last lion’s head was cut from its bones
and its skin flown out from the land it once roamed”
Now none of us wants this tale to be true,
The years left to stop this, is sadly quite few
But still don’t despair, as Cecil’s demise
Has ignited the world with passion and rise
I believe if we join and work hard, as a team.
The lion’s roar will still bellow in the next century
To listen to a beautiful film of lions roaring wild and free in Botswana, please click below.