Tribute for Ian Lemaiyan
I met Ian Lemaiyan many years ago and really got to know him during one of our early March For Elephants events that we organized in Nairobi. He had come to Nairobi from his job at Lewa to be part of it. He was beaming with pride. During the March we chatted excitedly about his work with rhinos and as a member of the Board of Lewa I always looked him up whenever I was there for meetings.
His Facebook account revealed his huge love for wildlife, wilderness, and his family. He had that endless energy of timeless youth. Ian also trusted people with no bounds and laughed heartily with his head thrown back whenever something tickled him.
Ian was also a dreamer. From day 1 he told me he wanted to be a pilot. It was his boyhood dream. He sneaked to Nairobi on weekends to do his license for one hour at a time. It was all he could afford. I was so impressed with his utter determination. All he wanted was to save rhinos from the skies.
He was an obvious choice for our Wildlife Warriors TV series. During our interviews, I found out much more about this lovely man with massive potential. A rare gem. On camera he was far better than I had imagined, after our series, others started making films with him. His career was literally flying.
The accident at Nanyuki was such a blow, to a young family, to all his very many friends, and to KWS. We send out our condolences to all his loved ones. May Pilot Ian Lemaiyan Rest in Eternal Peace.
Here is his episode where he showed strength and surprised us with his emotion. Ian, I know you are flying for eternity.