Glitter Trotter: I am really amazed by your story, and by your dedication to helping the white rhinos! Can you tell me how you came up with the idea of raising money by selling bandanas?
Anay Shah: When I came to Africa, I learned that some animals here were endangered. I learned that there are only two Northern while rhinos left in the world. So, I started making these bandanas to give money to Ol Pejeta to keep the rhinos safe.
GT: Are rhinos your favorite animals?
AS: No, my favorite animal is a jaguar. Jaguars live in the Rain Forest, and they have beautiful patterns on their skin.
GT: Yet, you decided to draw rhinos and give money to a rhino sanctuary?
AS: Somebody had to help them – there are only two of them left. Jaguars live all the way in Brazil, and they are not really endangered.
GT: Have you ever seen a white rhino?
AS: Yes, I pet them, and even slept next to a rhino, when we were at Ol Pejeta. I actually learned about rhinos from Africa’s Deadliest TV program and David Attenborough. When I grow up, I will be a journalist like him, unless I can be a park ranger like those at Ol Pejeta, who guard endangered animals.
I also watched a documentary Secret Safari by Ol Pejeta; and then we went to Africa with my mom, who is an artist. When we were at Ol Pejeta, we were kind of talking about the rhinos and came up with the idea of making a pattern, which we can then turn into bandanas.
GT: Did you draw the rhinos on a computer?
AS: No, I draw them with a pen. Then we printed them, cut them out, and drew around them on canvas. Then we added different patterns on them. So first, we made an actual painting on canvas. When we were done, my mom took a photo of the canvas and put it on a computer, where we then added more patterns and black color between the rhinos. My mom helped with the outlines of the rhinos. It was a lot of fun.
GT: Have you seen how many people are now wearing your bandanas?
AS: Yes, my mom showed me pictures on Instagram. People from all over the world are getting them.
GT: How does it make you feel?
AS: It makes me feel happy and amazing that I am raising money for the rhinos.
GT: Are you planning to make more bandanas?
AS: I might do more next year. But next year I will draw a giraffe.
GT: Not a jaguar?
AS: No, for now I am going to stick with Africa – there are so many endangered animals here, who need our help: rhinos, elephants, and giraffes. Jaguars can wait.