The year was 2018, the setting: Fifa World Cup. Pemba placed bets with a pessimistic French friend of his regarding France's fate in the tournaments. If France were to win the World Cup his friend would buy him anything he desired. On July 15, in Russia, France were crowned world champions and back here in Nepal, the fate of the mountain expeditioner Pemba Sherpa changed forever.
He received photography equipment from said friend of over 1200 Euros, and with a bit of personal investment added to this sum, Pemba’s journey into photography took a huge turn.
Pemba’s stories from this fateful profession he acquired are as amazing as the beginning. On his journey to click photos of the Bengal tiger in Nepal, he waited patiently in the wilderness of the ShuklaPhanta National Park for 7 straight days to no avail. He then turned to Chitwan National Park to capture images of the tiger, which he did only on his 14 trip to the park finally capturing the elusive beast in all its majesty.
Similarly, he waited for 4 straight days in the field of Illam to catch a glimpse of the red panda with his lens. His perseverance, patience and dedication to this chance profession he acquired have led to him capturing images of the Himalayan Thar, Blue sheep, musk deer and many others including birds such as Himalayan monal, Blood pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, and the Long-tailed broadbill.
To Sherpa however, wildlife photography doesn’t spell a way to improve his financial means but rather a means for him to give back to society. He donates all the pictures that he captures to an organization in France known as the Montage et Partage, who in turn sell these pictures and use the money generated to fund scholarships for Nepali Students looking to study there. He also donates the pictures of the birds he photographs to an organization called Bird Conservation Nepal, who also sell these pictures to generate income for scholarships for students looking to study forestry.
His life as an active philanthropist doesn't end there, along with being dedicated to the tourism industry for more than 29 years and donating all his revenue to education, he also further works for the society through a social service organization called the Sherpalaya Trust. ALong with this he also helped open a school in madi, Chitwan.
His foray into Wildlife photography doesn't mean that his life as a Mountaineer is completely ended. Having started mountaineering in 1997 scaling Mt. Dhaulagiri then Everest for the first time in 1999, he stills actively engages in conducting such expeditions.