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Lions shock Crater `teen` ambassadors

10th October 2012
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Naseeb Abdul alias ‘Diamond Platinumz’

The maiden visit of Tanzania’s pop star Naseeb Abdul alias ‘Diamond Platinumz’ and Estelinah Sanga ‘Lina’ to the Ngorongoro Crater on Monday endured a shocking experience as they came close to confrontation of pride of lions.

The music duo was forced to take refuge inside a Land Cruiser while escaping from the lions.

The lions were interested to have a closer look of the duo who was just about to be interviewed by journalists at a location overlooking a dam full of hippos.

Before the incident happened the duo were being taken around in a ‘game drive’, inside the wildlife-packed crater.

The drama unfolded when journalists asked them to disembark from the vehicle and conduct an interview on the shores of ‘Hippo Lake’, at the heart of the world famous exclusive crater.

Just as Diamond was responding to a couple of questions, a pride of lions appeared from a distance and seemed to take great interest on the people standing near the hippo pool, directly facing Diamond.

“Listen guys, I am out of here,” said shell-shocked Diamond, as he took onto his heels, rushing to safety of the Toyota Land Cruiser.

Diamond told journalists who had been interviewing him that he had no intention of disembarking from the vehicle even after the lions had left. He conducted the rest of his interview from the vehicle.

The duo have been appointed to be ‘teen’ ambassadors to promote the Crater in the ongoing polls to vote for Africa’s Seven Wonders of Nature in which the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro contest among 12 other features from the continent.

Vincent Mbirika, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) public relations officer, said they have appointed the two artists due to their staggering popularity and convincing power to encourage youth population in the country to vote for the crater as well as both the Mountain and National Park.

“Most votes are being cast online and in Tanzania it is the young people who mostly surf the web, spend a lot of time with computers, tablets and smart phones with which they can use to make all three tourist attractions excel into the continent’s new Seven Wonders,” said Mbirika.

Acting conservator Amiyo Amiyo said: “I am glad that young people, especially pop stars, were beginning to take interest in tourism affairs.”

“For years we artists have been penning songs on love and romance avoiding other more important issues,” said Diamond, explaining that it is mainly due to lack of exposure.

“This is my first time here and feels like I should stay in the crater forever. The nature is so wonderful. I appeal to all other singers to find time and tour our attractions,” said the artist.

For her part, Lina added that for years she has been seeing tourists coming to Tanzania but had no idea what brought them here.

“I thought they were just curious to see the country but today I have discovered the secret; anybody would want to keep coming here,” she stated.

The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) have joined hands in promoting the three attractions to feature into new ‘Seven Wonders’ contest.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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