No, we’re not talking about the rugby team, “The Cheetahs”. (There is disagreement as to whether or not they need saving…) What we can all agree on is that our South African wildlife needs preserving. Enter: the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center, an organisation dedicated to the survival of the cheetah (and the wild dog) and who have bred about 800 cubs in captivity since 1971.
The Center is not government funded and their income is generated by the tours they hosts and the adoption programs they run. Their aims include the education of the new South African generation as to the importance of preservation and, to this end, they travel to schools to conduct presentations (five such visits are sponsored by Nissan annually). While the power-point segment of these presentations are no doubt impressive, the real highlight is a personal appearance by one of the Center’s ambassador cheetahs.
Of course, such an important dignitary cannot arrive in just any plain old conveyance and Nissan has ensured that these cheetahs won’t have to: The Nissan NP300 double cab bakkie has, in many ways, come to symbolise Africa’s spirit of perseverance and purpose every bit as much as the cheetah symbolises its majesty and elegance. Although the cheetah leaves the NP300 in its dust with an acceleration of 0 to 103 km/h in just 3 seconds, the NP300 can go considerably farther than 500 meters at speed and overtops the cheetah’s top speed of 120km/h by quite a margin. And of course, you never see a cheetah giving another cheetah a piggy-back ride while running. That’s why we measure power in horses, not cheetahs, and – in that respect – the NP300 can handle (literally) a ton of cheetahs.
This particular NP300 has also been fitted, courtesy of Nissan, with a custom enclosure to ensure the ambassador cheetahs arrive in the same safety and comfort the NP300 offers its human passengers.
Nissan has also contributed to the Center’s new branding and signage campaign, not least of which is the custom branded NP300, proudly proclaiming the Center’s insignia (how’s that for “baby on board”?).
It is truly inspiring to see these two great South African icons working together so closely and it leads one to wonder, if one were to brand a “Big Five” of bakkies in South Africa, who would top the list? Without a doubt, the NP300 would have a … spot. For certain these two will continue to drive the South African economy and the Center’s new branding (while easily misunderstood) drives the point home: Cheetahs – Powered by Nissan.