Demian, starting in 2008, began playing a vital role in the creation and development of, first, Zikomo Safari, and, then, Nsefu Wildlife. He won a wrestling match with Chief Nsefu in order to get the Chief’s approval to lease the land to Zikomo Safari – Zambia. He remained a friend with the Chief and often negotiated with the Chief when circumstances demanded it.
Once he won the wrestling match, Demian set up camp on the Zikomo Safari site. When hunters opposed to Zikomo Safaris’ lease sent pickup trucks full of men wielding AK-47s to tell Demian to leave, he stood up to them. He stayed on the property living in a tent, eating canned tuna fish and raimen, and drinking from a muddy spring. After a prolonged legal battle, Zikomo Safari (Demian, Victoria and David Wallace), obtained a lease to the property authorized by the Zambian parliament.
Then, Demian supervised construction. He led a crew of unskilled, uneducated local villagers to clear land, make roads, build a lodge, chalets, a swimming pool and outbuildings. He built and maintained vehicles, the solar electrical system and the bore hole water system for Zikomo Safari. He was instrumental in founding and organizing the Zambian Nsefu Wildlife Conservation Foundation, where he served on the board since its inception.
Max Demian Wallace gained the respect of the local people who came to see him as a kind of local “rock star.” Children would call out to him as he passed by in his car. Demian out ran lions on his motorcycle and forded rivers full of crocs and hippos. Through his life, he built a legend. Although he passed, his legend lives on.
Soar with the angels and ride the stars. We love you and will miss you each and every day.