Denis was born and raised in a village in Cameroon. He comes from a large family; his father had two wives and 13 children. The lifestyle of Denis’ family was pretty much self sufficient. Everyone in the family had to do their bit to help out, so from an early age, Denis knew about hunting, gathering and farming. Growing up in a village near the rainforest undoubtedly had a huge impact on Denis’ sense of connection with nature, and gave him a deeper understanding of how diverse ecosystem the earth is.
Although from a humble background, Denis and all of his sisters and brothers went to school and had access to good education. Denis studied environmental studies and later did a Human Ecology Masters in Belgium.
“I think every living human knows, some don’t admit it, but they know that we have come to a time where our unsustainable practises have caught up with us and we have to change. Together as a community and individually also”
Denis’ eyes light up and his tone of voice changes when you ask him about two things in particular: His family, his wife and beautiful daughter, and gorillas. Denis has such a strong passion that he devotes his life to research on Cross River Gorillas, and to the conservation of wildlife and people in the Cameroonian forests.
“I dream of spending a big part of my life in a place that I am spiritually connected to, that is not far away from the natural habitat of apes, where on a daily basis, I can try to make a difference”