Becoming Mitiaki

In 1997, two years after the incident, Olubi Olokusie became an initiated warrior, a murran. As a young murran, he aspired to kill a lion in order to become a hero and subsequently acquire a lion name. He dreamed of once again feeling the pride that came with protecting his community & family’s livestock.

As luck would have it, Olubi was selected by his peers to join the murran manyatta at Shilishili in 1999. This presented a perfect opportunity for him to kill a lion as the manyatta murrani would go out for lion hunts more frequently. At this time, he participated in several lion hunting ‘missions’ but was never the first one to spear a lion. In Maasai culture, only the first warrior to spear the lion is worthy of a lion name.

In 2004, five years down the line, Olubi’s dream became a reality. Two lions killed Loriwuo’s cow who had just given birth in the bush at Empakaai near Isabunyi on Mbirikani group ranch. Twenty two people went out to search for the lost cow and found that she had been killed by two lions- a male and a female. The large group of community members tried to track and hunt the lions but were unsuccessful as the lions escaped into a dense thicket.

The following day, seven murrani heard about the incident; they decided to go and hunt the lions. Olubi was one of these warriors. They tracked the two lions that killed the cow up to Loonkitejon (a hill on the west of Orng’osua village) and found the female lion feeding on a wildebeest carcass near Loonkitejon. The murrani started to chant loudly in order to anger the lioness. She decided to fight back and defend her meal but the murrani were not scared at all. In the hunt that ensued, Olubi was the first one to spear the lion.

After killing the lion, Olubi noticed that she was pregnant. He decided to dissect the lion and confirmed that they were five unborn cubs in her womb. His colleagues applauded him for killing six lions at a go. But Olubi’s celebratory mood turned to sadness; he empathized with the innocent cubs that he killed before they ‘saw the beautiful world’.

When the murrani went back to Shilishili Manyatta, they were given a heroic reception. Olubi who was leading the group had the lion’s tail on his shoulder. He faked smiles once in a while but deep down his heart he was troubled and sad. Women rewarded him with beads and elders congratulated him for his bravery. He was given the lion name (Mitiaki), meaning “One who does not flinch in the face of danger” and he became a hero amongst his peers and in the entire community. Still Olubi remained troubled…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard