A worldwide collaboration among artists and conservationists, spearheaded by Nashville musician, Storm, has raised not only much-needed funds, but also crucial awareness of the plight of our last remaining rhinos.
Saddened by the brutal poaching of rhino in South Africa, Storm – a South African born singer, songwriter and actress living in Nashville – was inspired to be part of the solution. Performing since she was a child, Storm has recorded music in Nashville with incredibly talented and accredited musicians. She decided to use her talents to create awareness of rhino poaching and co-wrote the song “Ghost” with her mother Bibi.
A haunting cry from the soul, “Ghost” does not sugar coat the brutality of poaching. It was recorded in Nashville and launched in November 2020. In 2021, “Ghost” was nominated for The Josie Music Awards for Social Impact. Highly respected, the awards are largest privately owned multi-genre award show recognising Independent/Up & Coming artists and songwriters.
Nathan Sanan, a well-known artist from the Eastern Cape in South Africa, designed the cover of the album, portraying a beautiful rhino with blood on its horn. Following an impactful interview about rhino poaching with renowned wildlife expert, Dr William Fowlds, a trustee of Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF), Storm decided to auction the original painting to raise funds for CRF’s rhino conservation work in southern Africa.
After listening to an interview with Storm on Radio Algoa in July 2021, Tanja West from Dancing For Rhinos stepped in and offered the platform to auction the painting. The online auction took place in October 2021 as part of Dancing for Rhinos 2021 Live Stream Musical Event, and raised R20,000.00, of which R14,000.00 was donated to CRF.
Says Storm: “It was an epic journey of song writing, recording an award-winning music video and interviews, but NOTHING beats having a small hand in rhino conservation. Thank you to Rooting4Rhino for helping give this initiative legs! A special thanks to family and friends who helped with the music video and moral support! Hopefully the single ‘Ghost’ will continue to give back to rhino conservation…”
Storm and Bibi came to South Africa recently to visit family in the Eastern Cape and took the opportunity to meet up with the CRF team at Amakhala Game Reserve to learn more about the CRF projects first hand. They enjoyed a Safari Drive with Dr Fowlds at the wheel to see some of Amakhala’s precious rhinos in the wild. They also met Azola, one of Amakhala’s specially trained K9 handlers, and K9 Nassau, who provided an insightful demonstration of Nassau’s specialised tracking and bite work skills.
“It was an absolute privilege to go on a private game drive and view not only the rhino, but also Africa’s other iconic wildlife in their natural habitat. The best part about this trip was getting a first hand look at how the anti-poaching unit lives and trains. What an eye-opening experience. The work that they put into rhino and wildlife conservation is immeasurable and I am forever thankful for all that they do. I have had the privilege of growing up and seeing this iconic species in the wild and I hope future generations can have this privilege too. The rhino cannot be just a memory – a ghost!”
“Our heartfelt thanks to both Storm and Bibi for their passion and mammoth efforts to drive this project, even through the COVID pandemic! It was a privilege to meet them both and to spend time with them in the African bush, sharing some of the exciting projects CRF is working on,” says Jo Wilmot from Amakhala Game Reserve. “With the help of donors like Storm, we can continue to support rhino conservation and protect our last few remaining rhinos.”
“We truly enjoyed the opportunity to thank Storm and Bibi in person for their amazing efforts to create awareness and raise funds for critical anti-poaching interventions,” says Brent Cook, founder of the Chipembere Rhino Foundation. “It will contribute to protecting our magnificent rhino, making an impact on the ground where it counts!”
For more information:
Ghost official Single: https://bit.ly/Ghostofficialstream (official nomination for Josie “Social Impact Award”)
Youtube Ghost Music Video (Graphic)
(Official First time filmmaker online session finalist “Best Wardrobe”)
Youtube becoming a Rhino: bit.ly/becomingaRhino
Details of Song and Video:
Co-writers: Storm and Bibi
Director: Bibi and Joey Lay
Makeup/prosthetics: Joey lay and Miranda Pierce
Wardrobe: Storm and Bibi
Videography: Oliver Brown
Rhino Footage: Paul Mills
Cover Art: Nathan Sanan