Transforming into a Guardian

The memory of killing innocent cubs haunted Olubi for two years. Even today, the incident is still fresh in his mind and he can recall with exquisite detail everything that happened on that Saturday in May 2004. Instead of feeling like a hero, the incident always evoked a deep sadness whenever he thought about it.

In 2006, Olubi heard about the Lion Guardians program and decided to ask for a job as a Guardian. As is the case with all new potential Guardians, he started as a volunteer. After months of volunteering, he was eventually employed as a Guardian in 2007 and has protected the lions in his area for close to a decade. He still remembers the names of the first lions that he saw when he started working with Lion Guardians – Sangale, Birdie, Nemasi, Kasaiyo, Ndelie and Nimaoi.

Olubi says that by becoming a Guardian he was finally able to rid himself of the guilt of killing those cubs. He says “ Lion Guardians transformed him from a famous lion killer to a famous protector of lions”.

Today he is a happy man protecting lions and his communities, Olubi has also been able to travel north to Laikipia and was featured on BBC Africa with David Attenborough. After recounting his entire story, Olubi acknowledged with his trademark chuckle “being recruited by a conservation organization was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.”

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